Impact of COVID – 19 pandemic on psycho-social well-being of cancer patients attending Dubai Hospital.


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Session type:

Kaltar Das1, Muhammad Farooq Latif1, Syed Hamad Tirmazy1, Nezar Salim1, Shila Sajan1, Susheel Kumar1, Abdul Basit1, Mohamed Omara1, Dalia El shourbagy1, Dina Hamza1, Jessy A Thomas1
1Dubai Health Authority

Abstract

Background

Cancer care has been affected by covid - 19 pandemic globally resulting in increased uncertainty, anxiety, depression and stress among the vulnerable cancer population. Aim of this study is to evaluate psycho-social impact of covid - 19 pandemic in cancer patients attending Dubai hospital.

Method

We conducted a survey of cancer patients attending Dubai hospital from December 2020 to February 2021 to assess the impact of covid - 19 pandemic. A 14-point questionnaire was developed and validated for the purpose of this study and patients were invited to complete the survey during clinic visits.

Results

Overall 323 (65%) patients completed the questionnaire including 250 (77%) females and 73 (23%) males. Most common diagnosis was Breast cancer (55%) followed by colorectal cancer (19%), ovarian cancer (4%) and other malignancies (22%).

Majority (55%) of the patients reported feeling unsafe going out during pandemic and crowded places (65%). 84% patients felt safe taking care of their health at home and 75% were worried about the health of their families.

Nearly half (48%) of the patients reported feeling panic while hearing news about pandemic on media and 43% felt nervous dealing with the overall situation.

Majority (72%) of patients felt comfortable visiting hospital for treatments during pandemic, however 42% believed that chemotherapy may cause additional risk of developing covid - 19 infection and 36% believed that covid  - 19 infection may increase cancer growth.

One third (33%) of study participants reported that lock down due to pandemic has affected their employment. Vast majority of patients reported feeling relieved with reducing numbers of covid  - 19 infections in the country.

Conclusion

Our study concluded that a significant proportion of cancer patients felt unsafe socializing with people and experienced panic, anxiety and nervousness. They were worried about increased risk of covid  - 19 infection due to chemotherapy and rapid cancer growth after covid  - 19 infection. However, most patients were comfortable visiting hospital for cancer treatments. 

Impact statement

Early diagnosis and referral to psychological services can help to improve the situation.