Kristoffersen AE, van der Werf ET, Stub T, Musial F, Wider B, Jong MC, Wode K, Danell JB, Busch M, Hoenders HJR, Nordberg JH
Complement Ther Med 64 (-) 102792 [2021-11-23; online 2021-11-23]
The present study was initiated to determine consultations with health care providers and use of self-management strategies for prevention or treatment of COVID-19 related symptoms in countries with a full lockdown (Norway), a partial lockdown (the Netherlands) and no lockdown (Sweden) during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and if such use correlates with worries of being infected by COVID-19 disease. Data were collected in collaboration with Ipsos A/S in April-June 2020. An adapted version of the International Questionnaire to measure use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (I-CAM-Q) was used with the categories "for prevention of COVID-19" and "to treat COVID-19-related symptoms" added. Data were collected among a representative sample in Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands using data assisted telephone interviews (Norway, n=990 and Sweden, n=500), and an online survey (the Netherlands, n=1004). Total response rate was 30%. Very few consulted a health care provider with the intention to treat or prevent COVID-19 (1.2% and 1.0% respectively) with medical doctors mostly visited (1.0% and 0.9% respectively). Similarly, the use of self-management strategies to prevent or treat COVID-19 was low (3.4% and 0.2% respectively); most commonly used for prevention of COVID-19 were vitamins and minerals (2.8%). Consultations with health care providers and use of self-management strategies for prevention of COVID-19 were positively associated with worries of being infected with COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic does not seem to have evoked a large-scale difference in behavior related to consultations with health care providers or the use of self-management strategies in any of the three countries.