Hesitancy Regarding Medical Advice on COVID-19: An Emergency Department Perspective

Yilmaz S., ÜNAL ÇOLAK F., Hokenek N. M., Ak R.

DISASTER MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS, vol.16, no.3, pp.1141-1151, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/dmp.2022.18
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, PASCAL, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1141-1151
  • Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, discharge against medical advice, hesitancy of medical advice, medication nonadherence, ADHERENCE, NONADHERENCE, THERAPY, IMPACT
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: The rejection of or non-compliance with treatment arises for different reasons by patients who receive treatment recommendations for various diseases. These states are described by various concepts, such as discharge against medical advice (DAMA) and medication nonadherence (MNA). The basis of the study is to determine how these states have arisen during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Method: The data of this study were collected through standardized interviews with 103 volunteer participants who were diagnosed with COVID-19 at different times and who did not use their prescribed medicine during the pandemic in Turkey. The data obtained in the research were analyzed through the MAXQDA qualitative analysis program. Results: As a result of the analysis of the data, 4 main themes and sub-codes have been reached: (1) prescribed medicine, (2) an information source for the COVID-19 period/treatment, (3) the reason for medication nonadherence, and (4) treatment of choice. When the approach toward treatment of patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 and had started treatment by a physician was evaluated, it was revealed that the nonadherence state emerged as a cycle. In the initial period, nonadherence due to the medication itself was observed. The second period is when the patients recognize their disease and collect information from their environment. Although this period begins before the disease, the search for informative sources intensifies, especially once the diagnosis has been received. In the third period, with their diagnosis and the information they had obtained, patients consider the reasons to use the medication and then decide whether or not to use it. In the fourth period, the patients who will not use antivirals consider other medications, such as anti-flu, anticoagulant, supplements, and nutrition. Conclusion: Since a specific treatment protocol has not yet been revealed for COVID-19, a new conceptual framework is required. In the current condition, the state of "hesitation for medical advice" arises for non-hospitalized patients.