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Healthcare Avoidance


Avoidance of healthcare is defined as keeping away from medical care that is thought to cause mental or physical harm. On the face of it, seeking healthcare for medical conditions seems to be an intuitive thing to do. However, many people seek to avoid healthcare even when they need it. It is necessary to understand how often and why this happens to frame policies that will address this problem and reduce the proportion of people left out of mainstream healthcare. Image Credit: 99Art/ In some studies, it has been shown that up to a third of participants reported avoiding medical consultations, even when they had concerning symptoms or known major medical illnesses. Some researchers noted that patients with diagnosed rectal tumors, for instance, waited to access medical care for up to five years following the onset of symptoms. This was despite knowing their condition.

Such delay reduces the success of treatment by delaying the detection of disease. Therefore, it is associated with reduced survival and may increase unnecessary patient suffering. This occurs in a voluntary fashion with most patients but may also be involuntary. Factors leading to avoidance

Avoidance may occur at any point on the spectrum of disease, from […]

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