TUESDAY, June 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Patient and hospital staff’s vaccine status may influence patients’ willingness to undergo a surgery during a pandemic, according to a study published in the June 9 issue of Vaccine.

Anna Clebone Ruskin, M.D., from the University of Chicago, and colleagues examined modifiable and nonmodifiable patient and hospital characteristics that may affect willingness to undergo surgery during a pandemic. The analysis included survey results from 2,006 adults about hypothetical surgery in various scenarios, including requirements for staff vaccination, patient vaccination, surgical urgency, and time in hospital.

The researchers found that participants are more willing to undergo surgery if they have been vaccinated and if staff vaccinations are required. Additionally, willingness to undergo surgery is increased if surgery is lifesaving and outpatient.

“Making the choice to not have surgery for an actual health problem could increase the risk of potential illness and disease attributable to pandemic-related fears. This suggests a potential opportunity for public education,” Ruskin said in a statement. “Our study reveals that people have real fears about acquiring an infectious disease in the hospital if they need surgery during a global pandemic. Our findings are not only relevant to COVID-19, but to future infectious disease pandemics.”

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