23.05.2021 | COVID-19 | SSAT Plenary Presentation
Zur Zeit gratis
COVID-19’s Impact on Cancer Care: Increased Emotional Stress in Patients and High Risk of Provider Burnout
Omid Salehi, Sylvia V. Alarcon, Eduardo A. Vega, Onur C. Kutlu, Olga Kozyreva, Jennifer A. Chan, Vera Kazakova, Dominique Harz, Claudius Conrad
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
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COVID-19’s precise impact on cancer patients and their oncologic care providers remains poorly understood. This study aims at comparatively analyzing COVID-19’s effect on cancer care from both patient and provider perspectives.
A multi-institutional survey was developed to assess COVID-19-specific concerns regarding treatment, safety, and emotional stress through 5-point Likert-type prompts and open-ended questions before and during the pandemic. Wilcoxon signed-rank and rank-sum tests were used to analyze before/during answers for providers and patients independently. Open-ended responses were assessed using inductive thematic analysis.
The survey was completed by 104 (69.3%) patients and 50 (50%) providers. Patients demonstrated a significant change in only 1 of 15 Likert prompts. Most significant were increased concern regarding susceptibility to infection [z = 2.536, p = 0.011] and concerns regarding their cancer outcome [z = 4.572, p < 0.001]. Non-physician providers demonstrated significant change in 8 of 13 Likert prompts, whereas physicians had all 13 Likert prompts change in the COVID-19 setting. Physicians believed care to be more poorly planned [z = −3.857, p ≤ 0.001], availability of protective personal equipment to be more limited [z = −4.082, p < 0.001], and were significantly concerned infecting family members [z = 4.965, p < 0.001].
While patients had more difficulty coping with their cancer, they did not perceive significant differences in their actual treatment. This suggests the need for a renewed focus on patients coping with cancer. Among providers, physicians more than any other provider group had a strong negative perception of COVID-19’s impact on healthcare, suggesting the need for novel approaches to target physician burnout.