Lidin M, Lyngå P, Kinch-Westerdahl A, Nymark C
Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs - (-) - [2021-10-29; online 2021-10-29]
To examine patient delay in seeking medical care when afflicted by an acute myocardial infarction during March-June 2020. This was a cross-sectional study in a region in Sweden during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic examining patients selected from the national registry (SWEDEHEART). Eligible patients were those with acute myocardial infarction, and a total of 602 patients were invited. A self-administered psychometric evaluated questionnaire, 'Patients' appraisal, emotions, and action tendencies preceding care-seeking in acute myocardial infarction' (AMI), was sent to the patients, and questions regarding COVID-19 were added. A total of 326 patients answered the questionnaire. Of these, 19% hesitated to seek medical care because of the pandemic, which was related to a fear that the healthcare services were already overcrowded with patients with COVID-19, followed by a fear of becoming infected with COVID-19 in hospital. Characteristics of this cohort were significantly higher prevalences of women, immigrants, smokers, and patients with type 2 diabetes. During the outbreak and first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, women and immigrants delayed seeking medical care for AMI because of fears about overcrowded hospitals and about becoming infected themselves. Therefore, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important to convey information about how and when to seek medical care. A collaboration involving the healthcare professionals, patient organizations, and the media would be desirable.