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Cancer Rep (Hoboken) ; 5(1): e1427, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274682


BACKGROUND AND AIM: This study quantifies how changes in healthcare utilization and delivery during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic have altered the presentation, treatment, and management of patients with gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies within an academic health system. METHODS AND RESULTS: Patients diagnosed with a GI malignancy (ICD10: C15-C26) who received medical care within the health system during the observation period (first 44 weeks of 2019 and 2020) were identified for a retrospective cohort study. Deidentified patient encounter parameters were collected for this observation period and separated into pre-pandemic (weeks 1-10) and early pandemic (weeks 11-20) study periods. Difference-in-difference analyses adjusted for week-specific and year-specific effects quantified the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on care delivery between pre-pandemic and early pandemic study periods in 2020. Across all GI malignancies, the COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with a significant decline in the number of patients with new patient visits (NPVs) (p = 1.2 × 10-4 ), Radiology encounters (p = 1.9 × 10-7 ), Surgery encounters (p = 1.6 × 10-3 ), Radiation Oncology encounters (p = 4.1 × 10-3 ), and infusion visits (6.1 × 10-5 ). Subgroup analyses revealed cancer-specific variations in changes to delivery. Patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) had the most significant decrease in NPVs (p = 7.1 × 10-5 ), which was significantly associated with a concomitant decrease in colonoscopies performed during the early pandemic period (r2  = 0.722, p = 2.1 × 10-10 ). CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with significant disruptions to care delivery. While these effects were appreciated broadly across GI malignancies, CRC, diagnosed and managed by periodic screening, has been affected most acutely.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Female , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies