Americans have mixed emotions about returning to virtual and in-person healthcare, survey suggests

There is dissonance between how patients say they feel about returning to healthcare and how they actually feel, according to a survey recently released by research firm Martec and the healthcare division of The Motion Agency.

Researchers said many people tend to go with their gut instinct when making decisions, and the vast majority of cognitive activity takes place nonconsciously as opposed to slower and more logical conscious thought. Because of this, the survey examined respondents' emotion intelligence.

To measure how respondents feel about returning to healthcare, researchers mapped their responses to 32 different emotion channels, ranging from very positive to very negative, by  categorizing chosen emotion words and their relative intensities.

Here are four key takeaways the survey found:

  1. Fifty-nine percent of conscious emotions expressed regarding reengaging with healthcare providers in person were positive, while only 38 percent of nonconscious emotions detected were categorized on the positive side of the spectrum.

  2. Among the 62 percent of negative nonconscious emotions detected regarding reengaging with healthcare providers in person were insecurity, fear and hesitation. Insecurity ranked first among both conscious and nonconscious emotions.

  3. Insecurity was also the top-ranking nonconscious emotion when respondents were questioned about reengaging with healthcare providers remotely after the pandemic. Despite this, security was the top conscious emotion expressed for the same question.

  4. Overall, 67 percent of conscious emotions expressed regarding engaging with providers remotely were positive, while just 43 percent of nonconscious emotions were. 
A timeline of telehealth support from the federal government during the pandemic

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