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Front Psychol ; 12: 568839, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1170113


Introduction: Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a devastating psychological impact on patients, especially patients with cancer. This work aims to evaluate mood disorders of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy during COVID-19 in comparison with cancer patients who underwent radiation therapy in 2019. Materials and Methods: We included all the patients undergoing radiation therapy at our department in two-time points (once a week for a month in May 2019) and during the COVID-19 outbreak (in April 2020). All the patients were asked to fulfill a validated questionnaire (STAI-Y1, State trait anxiety inventory scale), the Symptom Distress thermometer (SDT) (from 0 to 10 score), and the Beck Depression Inventory v.2 (BDI-2). We took into account the COVID-19 outbreak and also sex, age, week of radiation treatment, and disease. Results: We included 458 patients (220 males and 238 females), with a median age of 64 years. STAI-Y1 median score was 40 (mean 41,3, range 19-79), whereas the median score of SDT was five and BDI-2 median score was 11. STAI-Y1, SDT, and BDI-2 were significantly correlated with the COVID-19 outbreak (p < 0,001 for all the tests), sex (p: 0,016 for STAI-Y1, p < 0.001 for SDT, p:0.013 for BDI-2), week of treatment (p: 0.012 for STAI-Y1 and p: 0.031 for SDT), and disease (p:0.015 for STAI-Y1, p < 0.001 for SDT and p:0.020 for BDI-2). Conclusions: The prevalence of mood disorders in patients undergoing radiation therapy is higher than expected and even higher during the COVID-19 outbreak. These measurements could be useful as a baseline to start medical humanities programs to decrease these scores.