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Curr Oncol ; 28(6): 5332-5345, 2021 12 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572387


Virtual cancer care (i.e., teleoncology) was rapidly adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the needs of patients with cancer. However, there is a paucity of guidance for clinicians regarding virtual cancer care. We sought to develop consensus-based statements to guide the optimal provision of virtual care for clinicians caring for patients with cancer, using a modified Delphi consensus process with a 29-member panel consisting of an interprofessional group of clinicians caring for patients with cancer and patient representatives. The consensus process consisted of two rounds and one synchronous final consensus meeting. At the end of the modified Delphi process, 62 of 62 statements achieved consensus. Fifty-seven statements reached consensus in the first round of the process. Concerns regarding the ability to convey difficult news virtually and maintaining similar standards as in-person care without disproportionate strain on clinicians and patients were addressed in the consensus process. We achieved interprofessional consensus on virtual cancer care practices. Further research examining the impact of virtual cancer care on person-centred and clinical outcomes are needed to inform practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Consensus , Delphi Technique , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
J Patient Exp ; 8: 23743735211039328, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394400


During the COVID-19 pandemic, most cancer centers shifted from in-person to virtual cancer care to curb community spread and ensure care continuity. This qualitative descriptive study aimed to understand cancer patient-perceived risks related to COVID-19 and cancer treatment, as well as the patient-perceived and experienced value of virtual care. From June to August 2020, focus groups were conducted with patients under active management or observation for a diagnosed malignancy in Toronto, Canada. A thematic analysis of six focus groups found that most participants worried more about treatment delays than they did about COVID-19 infection. Despite some concern about COVID-19 exposure in the hospital, care delays contributed to increased anxiety among participants who already subscribed to strict safety measures in their everyday lives. Most participants accepted virtual care for some appointment types; however, preference for in-person care was found to sustain the humanistic and therapeutic aspects of cancer care that many participants valued. Nuances in the appropriateness and adequacy of virtual cancer care still need exploration. Preserving the humanistic aspects of care is of paramount importance.

Curr Oncol ; 28(1): 278-282, 2021 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011431


Patients with cancer are more vulnerable to severe COVID-19. As a result, routine SARS-CoV-2 testing of asymptomatic patients with cancer is recommended prior to treatment. However, there is limited evidence of its clinical usefulness. The objective of this study is to evaluate the value of routine testing of asymptomatic patients with cancer. Asymptomatic patients with cancer attending Odette Cancer Centre (Toronto, ON, Canada) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 prior to and during treatment cycles. Results were compared to positivity rates of SARS-CoV-2 locally and provincially. All 890 asymptomatic patients tested negative. Positivity rates in the province were 1.5%, in hospital were 1.0%, and among OCC's symptomatic cancer patients were 0% over the study period. Given our findings and the low SARS-CoV-2 community positivity rates, we recommend a dynamic testing model of asymptomatic patients that triggers testing during increasing community positivity rates of SARS-CoV-2.

Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Neoplasms/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cancer Care Facilities , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Ontario