Prevalence and correlates of forgone care among adult Israeli Jews: A survey conducted during the COVID-19 outbreak

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Efforts to control the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic include drastic measures such as isolation, social distancing, and lockdown. These restrictions are accompanied by serious adverse consequences such as forgoing of healthcare. The study aimed to assess the prevalence and correlates of forgone care for a variety of healthcare services during a two-month COVID-19 lockdown, using Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Healthcare Utilization. A cross-sectional study using computerized phone interviews was conducted with 302 Israeli Jewish participants aged 40 and above. Almost half of the participants (49%) reported a delay in seeking help for at least one needed healthcare service during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Among the predisposing factors, we found that participants aged 60+, being more religious, and reporting higher levels of COVID-19 fear were more likely to report forgone care than younger, less religious and less concerned participants. Among need factors, a statistically significant association was found with a reported diagnosis of diabetes, with participants with the disease having a considerably higher likelihood of forgone care. The findings stress the importance of developing interventions aimed at mitigating the phenomenon of forgoing care while creating nonconventional ways of consuming healthcare services. In the short term, healthcare services need to adapt to the social distancing and isolation measures required to stanch the epidemic. In the long term, policymakers should consider alternative ways of delivering healthcare services to the public regularly and during crisis without losing sight of their budgetary consequences. They must recognize the possibility of having to align medical staff to the changing demand for healthcare services under conditions of health uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0260399
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2021 Werner, Tur-Sinai. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Culture
  • Facilities and Services Utilization/trends
  • Female
  • Health Services/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Jews/psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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