Psychosocial needs of cancer patients disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is substantially disrupting the psychosocial needs of patients impacted by cancer. The new findings were released in the peer-reviewed journal Psycho-Oncology.

As part of the study, researchers at the University of Surrey probed the effects of psychosocial support for cancer patients during the recent coronavirus pandemic.

For their study, 94 British experts in psychosocial oncology were surveyed. In their survey, it was uncovered an alarming amount of concerns with regards to face-to-face delivery of care among the patients impacted by cancer in the United Kingdom. For some, care is initiated remotely, while some have been entirely left in the dark.

“Professionals reported severe disruptions in delivering clinical and supportive care to people affected by cancer and associated research activity. There were major concerns that the full impact of the pandemic is yet to be realised,” the findings say.

“Qualitative data from 94 respondents were analysed thematically. Key themes were summarised using the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) framework.”

According to researchers, the number of patients referred to psychosocial services decreased substantially, while delays in accessing care have raised concerns.

“The results from our survey clearly demonstrate the major upheaval Covid-19 has caused. There are significant ongoing concerns about funding and how services and research activity will be maintained in coming months and years,” the study’s co-authors determined.

“It’s vital we monitor how the situation develops and work collaboratively other cancer organisations to mitigate challenges and continue developing psycho-oncology activity in the UK.”

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