Inequalities in healthcare disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from 12 UK population-based longitudinal studies

Maddock, J. et al. (2022) Inequalities in healthcare disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from 12 UK population-based longitudinal studies. BMJ Open, 12(10), e064981. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-064981) (PMID:36229151) (PMCID:PMC9561494)

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Objectives: We investigated associations between multiple sociodemographic characteristics (sex, age, occupational social class, education and ethnicity) and self-reported healthcare disruptions during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Design: Coordinated analysis of prospective population surveys. Setting: Community-dwelling participants in the UK between April 2020 and January 2021. Participants: Over 68 000 participants from 12 longitudinal studies. Outcomes: Self-reported healthcare disruption to medication access, procedures and appointments. Results: Prevalence of healthcare disruption varied substantially across studies: between 6% and 32% reported any disruption, with 1%–10% experiencing disruptions in medication, 1%–17% experiencing disruption in procedures and 4%–28% experiencing disruption in clinical appointments. Females (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.15 to 1.40; I2=54%), older persons (eg, OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.72; I2=77% for 65–75 years vs 45–54 years) and ethnic minorities (excluding white minorities) (OR 1.19; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.35; I2=0% vs white) were more likely to report healthcare disruptions. Those in a more disadvantaged social class were also more likely to report healthcare disruptions (eg, OR 1.17; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.27; I2=0% for manual/routine vs managerial/professional), but no clear differences were observed by education. We did not find evidence that these associations differed by shielding status. Conclusions: Healthcare disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic could contribute to the maintenance or widening of existing health inequalities.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Green, Dr Michael and Katikireddi, Professor Vittal
Authors: Maddock, J., Parsons, S., Di Gessa, G., Green, M. J., Thompson, E. J., Stevenson, A. J., Kwong, A. S.F., McElroy, E., Santorelli, G., Silverwood, R. J., Captur, G., Chaturvedi, N., Steves, C. J., Steptoe, A., Patalay, P., Ploubidis, G. B., and Katikireddi, S. V.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:BMJ Open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2044-6055
Published Online:13 October 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMJ Open 12(10):e064981
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172690Understanding the impacts of welfare policy on health: A novel data linkage studySrinivasa KatikireddiOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SCAF/15/02HW - Public Health
3048231Inequalities in healthAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/2HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048231Inequalities in healthAlastair LeylandOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SPHSU17HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit