Examining dementia family caregivers’ forgone care for general practitioners and medical specialists during a covid-19 lockdown

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Abstract

The present study aimed to assess dementia caregivers’ reports of the prevalence and correlates of forgone care regarding visits to a general practitioner (GP) and to a specialist during the COVID-19 lockdown in Israel, using Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Healthcare Utilization. A cross-sectional study using an online survey was conducted with 73 Israeli family caregivers of persons with dementia residing in the community (81% Jews, 86% female, mean age = 54). Overall, one out of two participants reported having to delay seeking needed help from a GP or a specialist for themselves, as well as for their relatives with dementia, during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Among the predisposing factor, education was associated with caregivers’ reports regarding forgone care for themselves as well as for their loved ones. Living with the care-receiver and income level were the enabling factors associated with forgone care for caregivers. Finally, feelings of burden were associated with caregivers’ forgone care and feelings of loneliness and perceptions of the care-receiver’s cognitive functioning were associated with care-receivers’ forgone care. Our findings show that it is essential that this population receive appropriate practical and emotional support at times of distress and crisis to enable them to continue with their caregiving role.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3688
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Access
  • Aging
  • Andersen’s Behavioral Model
  • Barriers
  • COVID-19
  • Dementia
  • Family caregiver
  • Forgone
  • Help-seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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