Delay behaviour happens during the first awareness of an illness.

In other words, when they initially notice the signs and symptoms that could potentially be a chronic illness. The patient delays the diagnosis or even any type of treatment. There are 3 stages to delay, of which compromises of appraisal delay, illness delay, and utilisation delay. The reasons pertaining to why one delays treatment is revealed to have significant factor.  Firstly, appraisal delay refers to the time taken to interpret a symptom as an indication of illness.

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To put it simply, it is the time taken to decide that the symptom that one noticed is serious or not. One must decide whether he is experiencing could be an ailment or just something abnormal. For example, one would experience severe headaches, fatigue, vision problems, chest pain and irregular heartbeat. As for someone who experience regular headaches due to stressors that he faced everyday, one would not derive anything off the symptoms that he experienced. He could have just passed it off as just stressed out or anxious. When in fact, these are symptoms of hypertension.

This is the most important stage to kick-start the stages following this.  Patients experiencing painful symptoms and did not read about their symptoms will have shorter appraisal delay. This is since the pain will create a sense of panic, and thus will seek medical help quickly and it is a sign that they should. However, if they do read it up, the materials that they read may not portray the right conditions and thus cause them to think that it may not apply to them.

This will lead them to think that what they are experiencing may not be of concern.  One of the factors that discern appraisal delay is the nature of the symptoms. Anxiety is one major factor. There is a certain type of people who do not want to know if they have chronic illnesses and thus choose to be in denial.

A reason why this can happen is that the person perhaps does not wish to think about how big of a burden their sickness can be in the future once they find out that they are ill.  Therefore, will not sick medical attention.  Secondly, illness delay refers to the time taken between recognising one is ill and deciding to seek medical attention.

To put it differently, it is the time taken between recognition that a symptom implies an illness and the decision to seek treatment. Illness delays are long for patients with old symptoms If the individual perceive the symptoms to be of concern, then they will seek treatment. For example, after knowing that he is ill however, he delays seeking treatment as he thinks that he can just storm it through and deal with the illness by himself. Certain people think that the mind is a very powerful tool that may surpass their illnesses, that they have the “they will be cured if they believe so” mentality.

  Thirdly, utilisation delay refers to the time after deciding the to seek medical care until going in to use that health service. In other worse, it is the time taken between deciding to seek the treatment and doing so. It is the perceptions of benefits and barriers. Utilisation delay is shortest for people who were not affected by the cost of treatment. It is also short for those who have painful symptoms and, also those who are definite that their symptoms can be solved.

This is when they assess the pros and cons of seeking medical care. If the individual does not perceive the overall benefits to be good for them, they will not seek treatment.  An example of utilisation delay is when an individual delay their treatment due to being of the lower income status, or does not have health insurance. In some cases, the delay could be caused by the person trying to save up to get the treatment.

  Lastly, medical delay. It is the time that elapses between the person calling for an appointment at the doctor’s and receiving appropriate medical care. Several factors that attributed to this delay are health-care providers not properly diagnosing giving proper treatment to the patient. Lack of follow up, referral delays such as the illness being seen as not urgent by the providers.  An example would be patients going to the polyclinic and then getting referred to hospitals instead.

While at the hospital and making the appointment the person making the appointment may arrange the appointment to be 4 months from when they first came in.  In conclusion, delays are best to be kept short as it will minimise the damage that it can cause if medical help and treatments are not sought. Patients may avoid death and disability if they have short delays.  


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