Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cost-Related Prescription Nonredemption, Health care Seeking and Hospitalization in Hungary: A Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Study

Version 1 : Received: 25 December 2021 / Approved: 27 December 2021 / Online: 27 December 2021 (11:05:43 CET)

How to cite: Bekele, B.B.; Alhaffar, B.A.; Wasnik, R.N.; Sándor, J. Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cost-Related Prescription Nonredemption, Health care Seeking and Hospitalization in Hungary: A Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Study. Preprints 2021, 2021120422 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202112.0422.v1). Bekele, B.B.; Alhaffar, B.A.; Wasnik, R.N.; Sándor, J. Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cost-Related Prescription Nonredemption, Health care Seeking and Hospitalization in Hungary: A Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Study. Preprints 2021, 2021120422 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202112.0422.v1).

Abstract

Background: Although, negative repercussions of inadequate health service use on the health outcomes has been presumably exacerbated by COVID-19, the impact of the pandemic measures has been not evaluated properly yet. Objective: Our study aimed to quantify the COVID-19 pandemic measures’ effect on the general practitioner (GP) visit, specialist care, hospitalization and cost-related prescription nonredemption (CRPNR) among adults in Hungary, and to identify the social strata susceptible to the pandemic effect. Methods: This community-based cross-sectional study based on nationally representative data of 6,611 (Nprepandemic=5,603 and Npandemic=1,008) subjects aged 18 years and above. Data were obtained from the European Health Interview Survey 2019 (EHIS) and International Social Survey Program 2021 (ISSP) for prepandemic and pandemic, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression models were applied to determine the sociodemographic and clinical factors influencing the health care use by odds ratios (OR) along with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI). To identify the social strata susceptible to pandemic effect, the interaction of the time of data collection with level of education, marital status, and ethnicity, was also tested. Results: While, the CRPNR did not changed, the frequency of GP visit, specialist care and hospitalization rate were remarkably reduced by 22.2%, 26.4%, and 6.7%, respectively, during the pandemic in Hungary. Roma proved to be not specifically affected by the pandemic in any studied respect. The pandemic restructuring of health care impacted the social subgroups evenly with respect to hospital care. However, the pandemic effect was weaker among primary educated adults (ORhigh-school vs primary-education =0.434; 95% CI 0.243-0.776, ORhigh-school vs primary-education =0.598; 95% CI 0.364-0.985), and among widows (ORwidowed vs married =2.284; 95% CI 1.043-4.998, ORwidowed vs married=1.915; 95% CI 1.157-3.168) on the frequency of GP visit and specialist visit; and the prepandemic CRPNR inequality by level of education was increased (ORhigh-school vs primary-education =0.236; 95% CI 0.075-0.743). Conclusion: Primary educated and widowed did not follow the general trend, and their prepandemic limited health care use was not reduced further during pandemic, resulting in an inequality reduction. The vulnerability of primary educated to CRPNR was the only gap widened in the pandemic period. This shows that although the management of pandemic health care use restrictions was implemented by increasing the social inequality in Hungary, the prevention of inequity in drug availability for primary educated individuals could require more support.

Keywords

CRPNR; COVID-19 pandemic; hospital admission; GP visit; Hungary; interaction effect; Roma; specialist care

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Other

Comments (0)

We encourage comments and feedback from a broad range of readers. See criteria for comments and our diversity statement.

Leave a public comment
Send a private comment to the author(s)
Views 0
Downloads 0
Comments 0
Metrics 0


×
Alerts
Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.
We use cookies on our website to ensure you get the best experience.
Read more about our cookies here.