Delay Behaviour refers to someone who first notices a symptom to the time when he or she seeks for medical care.
In general, hospital or clinics find out that treatment delays occur. This is divided into four sequential stages: Appraisal delay, Illness delay, Utilisation delay and medical delay. There are different factors affecting the delaying of treatment in different stages of the delay. Different people have different level of adherence. There are different behaviours of people who adhere to the treatment.
Instances where people carry out the behaviours by following what the doctors recommended them to do. Additionally, there are instances where people do not carry out the recommended behaviours or modify the treatment. For example, if one has first stage of diabetes, one will occur blurred vision or unexplained weight loss. Such ignorance will be assumed as a deterioration of their eyesight. In unfortunate cases, stroke, high blood pressure or blindness may happen.
Therefore, it is crucial to have different stages of delay to cure or evaluate the illness. The first stage is appraisal delay. At this stage, the symptoms are an indication of an illness occurring. These patients who are unwell and feeling discomfort are unable to detect their symptoms. Thereby proceeding to the following stage, where they deemed what they are experiencing is an illness. However, when symptoms like headache or coughing will seems as a normal sickness.
Thus, resulting in an appraisal delay. For example, a patient who has diabetes and does not go for his/her regular check-up are unable to recognize these symptoms. The patient will start to have a blurry eyesight furthermore the patient will not realize that this symptom is a sign of diabetes. Until the patient vision has flashing lights, floaters or a grey shadow. This is when the patient will start to worry and seek immediate help from the doctors after realising how serious the symptoms has aggravated. The second stage is illness delay stage. This period is where one realises if their symptoms are of a serious need to seek medical attention for and up till they decide to visit the doctors. For instance, patients will have frequent blurry vision and discomfort.
When these symptoms prolong to more than a few months, serious actions are needed. This is where medical attention should be considered. At this stage, patients who are unable to handle one’s emotional and cognitive levels will result in an illness delay For example, when blurry vision occurs frequently and disrupts his daily activities. The patient will realize that its getting serious as he prolongs the medical attention that he should be seeking. The third stage is utilisation delay.
This is the period that the patient will feel that they have no choice but to seek the medical centre or else they might lose their eye sight due to prolonging of their health. However, as humans, we have one hundred and one reasons and excuses. Going to the hospital is always one’s fear of getting out knowing that they are unwell. For example, if one’s hospital is located near their neighbourhood they will feel that there is always another day and another time to visit.
The hundred and one excuses to give oneself and dragging the period to visit the hospital. As everyone has that mindset that the hospital is 24/7 crowded, hospital waiting time is long and heavy medical bills bothers them. However, at the age of this era, everyone worries of their finances, the difficulty of one falling ill that will burden their loved ones.
Additionally, they are worried of the pain and difficulty that they have to go through. For example, chemotherapy will make one tired, drastic loss of weight and even hair loss. The physical appearance will cause one to feel insecure which leads to depression. Such a drastic loss to oneself are the sacrifices of the fate of falling ill.
Therefore, staying healthy, eating right and taking care of oneself is important. Lastly the fourth stage is medical delay. This is something that is quite common that anyone one may face. For example, like someone who have been waiting for appointment since last week and when she return to the hospital she found out that there was no appointment booked and she have to wait a few more days to seek the doctor as there will be no available doctor to attend to her as she need a specialist for her case unfortunately this will cause medical delay. Similarly, I had an experience that I face before when I was younger I went to my family clinic due to my tonsillitis however the doctor mention to me that I was just having a mild flu and cough and gave medicine to cure me as a result that particular night I vomit non-stop as we realize that the doctor have given me the wrong medicine as my body are rejecting the medication.
From this experience if my mother did not quickly send me to the hospital I could be seriously ill. In conclusion, with hopes to bring awareness that delay symptoms is crucial for people to understand and take actions before it is too late. Definitely, the Singapore healthcare system can aid by bringing attention to patients and educating oneself and for others. With the government aid, medi save and medical shield can cover the bills and consultations. This can allow patients to feel at ease with their finances. Lastly, family and friends supporting one another play a vital role in reducing patient delay time.
The shorter the period of delay, the percentage of risking our health shortens.