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Impact of COVID-19 on emergency service usage in Turkey: interrupted time series analysis

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to reveal the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which constitutes an extraordinary situation, on the habits of emergency health service use. The data of the study consist of emergency service applications of a public hospital in Turkey between the years 2018–2021. The number of applications to the emergency service was examined periodically. The interrupted time series analysis method was used to reveal the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on emergency service admissions. When the main findings are analyzed in quarterly periods (3 months = 1 quarter); there has been a sharp decrease in emergency service applications since March 2019, when the first case was seen in Turkey. When an evaluation is made between consecutive quarters, it is seen that there are fluctuations up to 80% in the number of applications. When the statistical analysis findings are examined; while the effect of COVID-19 on the number of applications was found to be significant for the first four periods, it was found to be insignificant for the following periods. With the conducted study, it was revealed that COVID-19 has a significant impact on the use of emergency health services. Although there was a statistically significant decrease in the number of applications, especially in the months following the first case, there was an increase in the number of applications over time. Considering the necessity of using emergency health services when necessary, it can be thought that some of the decrease in the number of applications during the COVID-19 period will be related to the use of unnecessary emergency health services.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available due [REASON WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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All authors have contributed to the conceptual design of the study, writing the search strategies, data extraction, data interpretation, and manuscript preparation.

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Correspondence to Mustafa Orhan.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Ethics statement

This study was approved by the Izmir Bakırçay University Non-Interventional Ethics Committee. The study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

Human and animal rights statement and Informed consent

The study was performed in accordance with the ethical principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and with the International Conference on Harmonization Good Clinical Practice guidelines.

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Çirakli, Ü., Orhan, M., Sayar, B. et al. Impact of COVID-19 on emergency service usage in Turkey: interrupted time series analysis. Intern Emerg Med 18, 2105–2112 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11739-023-03344-2

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