BLOOMFIELD, Conn., Feb. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Cigna's (NYSE:CI) International Markets business has published its fourth COVID-19 Global Impact Study. This series, which builds on Cigna's annual 360 Well-being Study, provides further insight into the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people's well-being in 11 markets around the globe.
Cigna engaged more than 23,000 people across MainlandChina, Hong Kong, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States between January and October 2020, to show the changes in attitudes during the pandemic.
Uncertainty about the future is the greatest cause of stress
The latest survey data shows that after months of pandemic-related restrictions, periodic stay-at-home orders, changing restrictions on travel and social gatherings, and multiple waves of infection, people worldwide have become even more concerned about the future. According to the study, almost half of global respondents said concern for the future is their greatest cause of stress.
Another common area of stress is the balance between work life and family life. More than 40% of respondents reported low well-being scores and high stress levels in both of these areas, with 14% saying their level of stress is currently unmanageable.
"The increased levels of self-reported unmanageable stress are concerning, with stress often adversely impacting a person's overall physical health and well-being," said Cigna Global Employer Health, Americas CEO, Ann Asbaty. "Access to fully integrated wellness programs and well-being solutions can have a positive impact on managing whole person health. In 2020, Cigna's International Employer Assistance Program saw a 33% increase in utilization, with a 53% increase in visits to the website alone, compared to 2019."
U.S. remains upbeat despite global declines
While perceived well-being declined worldwide, in the U.S. it was a more positive picture, with the well-being index improving by a remarkable 2.6 points. Respondents reported significant improvements in their feelings of health and well-being.
While previous Pulse Study results showed a similar overall view on the impact of COVID-19, this report highlights the varying changes in global perception. Global regions are adapting to the new landscape differently, and these differences are influencing the views and emotional responses of people in these geographies.
Continued interest in virtual health
The latest study results show a more lasting shift in how people manage their health. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed indicated they now care more about the health care services they have access to, and 30% say they have changed their approach to managing their mental health. Supporting that outlook, the study finds widespread use of virtual health services, initially driven by the need to socially distance due to COVID-19, will outlast the pandemic.
Nearly three in five respondents (59%) said they are likely to continue using virtual health services if given the option. Additionally, 29% of respondents now view virtual health as their preferred health service option.
The three most commonly preferred aspects of virtual health were unchanged from the previous survey of global populations conducted in August - generic health support, prescription delivery, and mental health support.
"The fact that so many have transitioned seamlessly to using virtual care bodes well for the ongoing adoption of solutions that provide greater access to care beyond the pandemic," noted Asbaty. "By offering consumers alternative ways to experience the health care industry we have an opportunity to enhance not only access, but consumers' overall whole person health."
Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Evernorth companies or their affiliates and Express Scripts companies or their affiliates. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits and other related products.
Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 170 million customer relationships around the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.