Young and old Americans alike avoid the doctor for a variety of reasons, but money and time seem to be the largest factors according to a Wednesday study.
The study indicates that Americans don’t go to the doctor because they don’t want to spend the money. Forty four percent don’t regularly visit their primary care physician for financial reasons, and 36 percent don’t go because they think there’s probably nothing wrong with them.
Twenty seven percent don’t want to take time off from work, 21 percent prefer natural remedies, and 12 percent would rather diagnose themselves using websites like WebMD. (RELATED: 4 Reasons You Should Try Virtual Doctor Visits)
Study respondents on average rated their physical health to be poor roughly four days out of every month, while rating their mental health poor six days out of each month.
MedicareAdvantage conducted the study by surveying 1,010 people, disqualifying respondents who were not paying attention and incorrectly answered questions. Respondents who answered questions erratically were also excluded from the study’s final results.
Forty-seven percent of participants identified as male while 53 percent identified as female. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to 77.
Forty four percent of respondents didn’t visit their physician in the past year and 13 percent of respondents had not visited their primary care physician in the last five years, according to the study. (RELATED: Will Free Health Care Lead To Unnecessary Doctor Visits)
Of those who visited their primary care physician in the last year, 50 percent were men and 60 percent were women. More Baby Boomers had visited their doctor for a wellness check up in the 2017 than Generation Xers had, followed by Millennials.
For most all survey respondents, cost was among the largest reason that respondents avoided going to see the doctor. Doctor visits also had a positive relationship with yearly income, with those making $75,000 or above visiting the doctor more frequently than those making between $20,000 and $75,000.
Of those surveyed, 82 percent hadn’t visited a chiropractor in the last five years and 73 percent hadn’t seen a dermatologist in that time frame. Seventy-two percent hadn’t seen a psychologist while 19 percent hadn’t gone to the dentist in the last five years.
The study notes that a large limitation to the report derives from a dispute between medical experts and sources on the recommended number and frequency of psychological, mental and physical health visits.
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