Original Article

대한불안의학회지 (19권2호 77-82)

Hospital Avoidance and Associated Factors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 대유행 동안의 병원 회피 현상 및 연관 요인

Jong-Wook Jeon , Se Joo Kim , Su-Young Lee , Jhin Goo Chang , and Chan-Hyung Kim

Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Goyang, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Objectives : During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, hospital avoidance had a significant impact on public health. We investigated the factors associated with hospital avoidance and explored practical strategies hospitals could employ to address this phenomenon.

Methods : We conducted a patient experience survey in a general hospital in Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between July 6, 2020, and July 20, 2020, a total of 842 patients who had previously visited hospitals before the COVID-19 outbreak participated. Self-reported hospital avoidance, factors associated with hospital avoidance, and satisfaction with the hospital’s infection control policies were the main outcomes. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to identify associated factors.

Results : Data indicated that 29.9% (n=252) of the respondents avoided visiting the hospital after the COVID-19 outbreak. Satisfaction with the hospital infection control policy (odds ratio [OR]=2.297, p<0.001), female sex (OR=1.619, p<0.05), and higher educational level (OR=1.884, p<0.001) were associated with hospital avoidance. The “entrance body temperature check” was the most satisfactory policy among the hospital’s infection control policies.

Conclusions : To manage hospital avoidance during an infectious disease crisis, targeted policies for at-risk groups and hospital policies to reassure and satisfy patients are needed. (Anxiety and Mood 2023;19(2):77-82)


: Patient behavior; Global health crisis; Patient experience; Patient satisfaction; Hospital infection control.