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1.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 26(3): 1049-1055, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708988

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The reorganization of cancer services and the increased work burden on health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to be associated with significant negative psychological impact. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the psychological well-being of oncology clinicians in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We randomly invited 1500 oncology clinicians including medical oncologists, clinical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists from 17 countries in the MENA region to complete a web-based survey to determine the level of psychological stress during the COVID-19 pandemic from October 2020 to January 2021. The questionnaire was based on the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Generalized Anxiety Disorders Scale (GAD-7) and WHO Well-being Index (WHO-5). The data was analyzed using SPSS version 21 and the difference between groups was measured by t-test and ANOVA. RESULTS: Overall, 520 (35%) clinicians including 368 (71%) males and 152 (29%) females participated in the survey with 247 (47%) participants between the ages of 36 to 45 years. Average score of 29.6 for males and 30.2 on PSS-10, indicative of high-perceived stress in both the genders. Compared to males, females had significantly higher anxiety levels on GAD-7 scale (p=.04), but this difference in stress level and well-being was not observed on PSS-10 (p=.134) and WHO -5 well-being index (p=.709). Clinicians of age 25-35 years had significantly higher anxiety levels on GAD-7 scale (p=.004) and higher stress on PSS (p=.000) as compared to other age groups. Age over 55 years was associated with lower levels of anxiety and stress on GAD-7 and PSS. Oncology clinicians working in public sector experienced significantly lower stress as compared to private sector on PSS scale (p=.041). CONCLUSIONS: Anxiety and stress levels among oncology clinicians have significantly increased in COVID-19 pandemic in the MENA region. Females and young clinicians had higher anxiety and stress, while oncology clinicians over the age of 55 years and working in the public sector reported less stress and anxiety. The general wellbeing of clinicians was well preserved even in a highly stressful and anxious situation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Oncologists/psychology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Adult , Africa, Northern/epidemiology , Anxiety/epidemiology , Female , Health Surveys/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Middle East/epidemiology , Pandemics , Private Sector , Public Sector
2.
CMAJ ; 193(28): E1118-E1119, 2021 07 19.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1609096
3.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261478, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598396

ABSTRACT

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows patients with serious illnesses to access investigational drugs for "compassionate use" outside of clinical trials through expanded access (EA) Programs. The federal Right-to-Try Act created an additional pathway for non-trial access to experimental drugs without institutional review board or FDA approval. This removal of oversight amplifies the responsibility of physicians, but little is known about the role of practicing physicians in non-trial access to investigational drugs. We undertook semi-structured interviews to capture the experiences and opinions of 21 oncologists all with previous EA experience at a major cancer center. We found five main themes. Participants with greater EA experience reported less difficulty accessing drugs through the myriad of administrative processes and drug company reluctance to provide investigational products while newcomers reported administrative hurdles. Oncologists outlined several rationales patients offered when seeking investigational drugs, including those with stronger health literacy and a good scientific rationale versus others who remained skeptical of conventional medicine. Participants reported that most patients had realistic expectations while some had unrealistic optimism. Given the diverse reasons patients sought investigational drugs, four factors-scientific rationale, risk-benefit ratio, functional status of the patient, and patient motivation-influenced oncologists' decisions to request compassionate use drugs. Physicians struggled with a "right-to-try" framing of patient access to experimental drugs, noting instead their own responsibility to protect patients' best interest in the uncertain and risky process of off-protocol access. This study highlights the willingness of oncologists at a major cancer center to pursue non-trial access to experimental treatments for patients while also shedding light on the factors they use when considering such treatment. Our data reveal discrepancies between physicians' sense of patients' expectations and their own internal sense of professional obligation to shepherd a safe process for patients at a vulnerable point in their care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Compassionate Use Trials , Drugs, Investigational/therapeutic use , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Oncologists/psychology , Therapies, Investigational , Drug Approval , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Motivation , Patient Rights , Physician-Patient Relations , United States
4.
Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book ; 41: e339-e353, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249568

ABSTRACT

Optimizing the well-being of the oncology clinician has never been more important. Well-being is a critical priority for the cancer organization because burnout adversely impacts the quality of care, patient satisfaction, the workforce, and overall practice success. To date, 45% of U.S. ASCO member medical oncologists report experiencing burnout symptoms of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. As the COVID-19 pandemic remains widespread with periods of outbreaks, recovery, and response with substantial personal and professional consequences for the clinician, it is imperative that the oncologist, team, and organization gain direct access to resources addressing burnout. In response, the Clinician Well-Being Task Force was created to improve the quality, safety, and value of cancer care by enhancing oncology clinician well-being and practice sustainability. Well-being is an integrative concept that characterizes quality of life and encompasses an individual's work- and personal health-related environmental, organizational, and psychosocial factors. These resources can be useful for the cancer organization to develop a well-being blueprint: a detailed start plan with recognized strategies and interventions targeting all oncology stakeholders to support a culture of community in oncology.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional/psychology , Medical Oncology/methods , Neoplasms/therapy , Oncologists/psychology , Stress, Psychological/prevention & control , Burnout, Psychological/prevention & control , Burnout, Psychological/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Internet , Job Satisfaction , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Social Support , United States
5.
JCO Glob Oncol ; 7: 242-252, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197355

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: As frontline workers facing the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers should be well-prepared to fight the disease and prevent harm to their patients and themselves. Our study aimed to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, and practice of oncologists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on them. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a validated questionnaire disseminated to oncologists by SurveyMonkey. The tool had 42 questions that captured participants' knowledge, attitude, and practice; their experiences; and the pandemic's impact on various aspects of their lives. Participants from Middle East and North African countries, Brazil, and the Philippines completed the electronic survey between April 24 and May 15, 2020. RESULTS: Of the 1,010 physicians who participated in the study, 54.75% were male and 64.95% were medical or clinical oncologists. The level of knowledge regarding the prevention and transmission of the virus was good in 52% of participants. The majority (92%) were worried about contracting the virus either extremely (30%) or mildly (62%), and 84.85% were worried about transmitting the virus to their families. Approximately 76.93% reported they would take the COVID 19 vaccine once available, with oncologists practicing in Brazil having the highest odds ratio of intention to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (odds ratio, 11.8, 95% CI, 5.96 to 23.38, P < .001). Participants reported a negative impact of the pandemic on relations with coworkers (15.84%), relations with family (27.84%), their emotional and mental well-being (48.51%), research productivity (34.26%), and financial income (52.28%). CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has adverse effects on various personal and professional aspects of oncologists' lives. Interventions should be implemented to mitigate the negative impact and prepare oncologists to manage future crises with more efficiency and resilience.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Oncologists/psychology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires , Africa, Northern , Brazil , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Male , Middle East , Oncologists/economics , Oncologists/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Philippines , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
6.
Int J Med Sci ; 18(10): 2235-2238, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190601

ABSTRACT

The spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has challenged hard the national health system worldwide. At any level, the role of health care providers has been rapidly revisited and eventually modified to face the pandemic. The search of the balance between the provision of the most appropriate health-related services and safety of both patients and health care providers has become an indisputable necessity. The consequently increased work load, along with a widespread feeling of intellectual isolation, emotional overload, sense of inadequacy for involvement in tasks and disciplines which are not always familiar have all been proposed as factors related to the onset and/or worsening of the burnout phenomenon. This latter is sadly renown among care givers and is particularly common among medical oncologists. We herein share our perspectives on the burnout phenomenon over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a specific focus on medical oncologists. Results from the most recent and inherent studies are presented and commented in light of hints provided by the experience matured by a quite restricted, still potentially representative, number of professionals figures from the medical oncologists' category. Reasons are proposed to explain the sense of inadequacy currently perceived in relation to the limits imposed by the current pandemic. In more detail, we illustrate the nature and extents of some of the most relevant difficulties in the optimal management of cancer patients and constant efforts towards the scientific upgrade which allows for the improvement of the professional performance. The need for a deeper understanding of the roots and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of medical oncologists is finally stressed.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Oncologists/psychology , Humans
7.
ESMO Open ; 6(2): 100104, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174237

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of modern-day oncology, including how stakeholders communicate through social media. We surveyed oncology stakeholders in order to assess their attitudes pertaining to social media and how it has been affected during the pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A 40-item survey was distributed to stakeholders from 8 July to 22 July 2020 and was promoted through the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the OncoAlert Network. RESULTS: One thousand and seventy-six physicians and stakeholders took part in the survey. In total, 57.3% of respondents were medical oncologists, 50.6% aged <40 years, 50.8% of female gender and mostly practicing in Europe (51.5%). More than 90% of respondents considered social media a useful tool for distributing scientific information and for education. Most used social media to stay up to date on cancer care in general (62.5%) and cancer care during COVID-19 (61%) given the constant flow of information. Respondents also used social media to interact with other oncologists (78.8%) and with patients (34.4%). Overall, 61.1% of respondents were satisfied with the role that social media was playing during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, 41.1% of respondents reported trouble in discriminating between credible and less credible information and 30% stated social networks were a source of stress. For this reason, one-third of respondents reduced its use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding meeting attendance, a total of 59.1% of responding physicians preferred in-person meetings to virtual ones, and 51.8% agreed that virtual meetings and social distancing could hamper effective collaboration. CONCLUSION: Social media has a useful role in supporting cancer care and professional engagement in oncology. Although one-third of respondents reported reduced use of social media due to stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority found social media useful to keep up to date and were satisfied with the role social media was playing during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Oncologists , Social Media , Adult , Aged , Attitude of Health Personnel , Attitude to Computers , Female , Humans , Information Dissemination , Male , Medical Oncology/education , Middle Aged , Oncologists/psychology , Social Networking , Stress, Psychological , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine
8.
ESMO Open ; 6(2): 100053, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086928

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly spread to every country around the world taking on pandemic proportions. Since 8 March 2020, the Italian government ordered a nationwide lockdown with unavoidable social isolation. Healthcare professionals (HCPs) represent the most physically and emotionally involved category. The aim of this study is to assess the social distress among HCPs in Italy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this online, totally anonymous survey, 24 multiple choice questions were posed to medical staff employed in the Italian Healthcare System during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data collection was performed from 30 March to 24 April 2020. RESULTS: A total of 600 HCPs completed the questionnaire. The majority of respondents expressed the fear of being at higher risk of contagion than the general population (83.3%) and the weighty concern of infecting their families (72.5%). An insufficient supply of personal protective equipment (PPE; P = 0.0003) and inadequate training about procedures to follow (P = 0.0092) were seen to significantly coincide with these worries. More than two-thirds declared a change in family organisation, which showed a significant correlation with the concern of infecting their relatives (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first Italian survey on social distress among HCPs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The unavailability of PPE, screening procedures and adequate training strongly affected HCPs' emotional status. Although there was a predominance of oncologists (especially from the North of Italy), which impairs the generalisation of our findings, this survey underlined the social impact that this health emergency has had on HCPs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Oncologists/psychology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Anxiety , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Fear , Female , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Surveys , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment
9.
Tumori ; 108(1): 77-85, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085212

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To measure the prevalence and characteristics of distress and hope for the future among psycho-oncologists, who faced the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency along with other healthcare workers. METHODS: A web-based study was conducted among members of the Italian Society of Psycho-Oncology between May 29 and June 5, 2020. RESULTS: A total of 237 members, aged 28-72 years, completed the COVID-19 Peritraumatic Distress Index (CPDI), Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), and HOPE questionnaires; 86.92% were female, 58.65% worked in hospitals, 21.10% were exposed to COVID-19, 11.39% experienced peritraumatic distress, and 3.38% had posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Peritraumatic distress was associated with living alone (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 3.05; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.41-8.13), using sleep remedies (AOR 3.79; 95% CI 1.41-10.21), and the perception of being avoided by family or friends because of work (AOR 2.69; 95% CI 1.02-7.11); high HOPE-Agency scores were associated with the absence of peritraumatic stress (AOR 0.40; 95% CI 0.16-0.96) after adjustment for age and sex. CONCLUSIONS: Psycho-oncologists showed greater resilience than other healthcare workers as they are trained to help others, but also to review their own values and behavior in light of stressful events. Of interest is the association between peritraumatic distress and social isolation, real or perceived. Healthcare institutions should pay attention to the mental well-being of their employees by promoting distress screening using simple tools such as the CPDI and implementing support interventions. Psycho-oncology associations should introduce policies aimed at developing a sense of social connectedness by providing an interactive system of orientation and scientific reference.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Loneliness/psychology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Oncologists/psychology , Psycho-Oncology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/virology , Surveys and Questionnaires
10.
ESMO Open ; 6(2): 100058, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062346

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on well-being has the potential for serious negative consequences on work, home life, and patient care. The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Resilience Task Force collaboration set out to investigate well-being in oncology over time since COVID-19. METHODS: Two online anonymous surveys were conducted (survey I: April/May 2020; survey II: July/August 2020). Statistical analyses were performed to examine group differences, associations, and predictors of key outcomes: (i) well-being/distress [expanded Well-being Index (eWBI; 9 items)]; (ii) burnout (1 item from eWBI); (iii) job performance since COVID-19 (JP-CV; 2 items). RESULTS: Responses from survey I (1520 participants from 101 countries) indicate that COVID-19 is impacting oncology professionals; in particular, 25% of participants indicated being at risk of distress (poor well-being, eWBI ≥ 4), 38% reported feeling burnout, and 66% reported not being able to perform their job compared with the pre-COVID-19 period. Higher JP-CV was associated with better well-being and not feeling burnout (P < 0.01). Differences were seen in well-being and JP-CV between countries (P < 0.001) and were related to country COVID-19 crude mortality rate (P < 0.05). Consistent predictors of well-being, burnout, and JP-CV were psychological resilience and changes to work hours. In survey II, among 272 participants who completed both surveys, while JP-CV improved (38% versus 54%, P < 0.001), eWBI scores ≥4 and burnout rates were significantly higher compared with survey I (22% versus 31%, P = 0.01; and 35% versus 49%, P = 0.001, respectively), suggesting well-being and burnout have worsened over a 3-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSION: In the first and largest global survey series, COVID-19 is impacting well-being and job performance of oncology professionals. JP-CV has improved but risk of distress and burnout has increased over time. Urgent measures to address well-being and improve resilience are essential.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Oncologists/psychology , Resilience, Psychological , Adult , Female , Health Surveys , Hospitals , Humans , Job Satisfaction , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment , Remote Consultation
11.
Breast Cancer Res Treat ; 186(3): 625-635, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1053039

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To examine how treatment delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the physical and emotional well-being of physicians treating these patients. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of physician breast specialists was posted from April 23rd to June 11th, 2020 on membership list serves and social media platforms of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Physician well-being was measured using 6 COVID-19 burnout emotions and the 4-item PROMIS short form for anxiety and sleep disturbance. We examined associations between treatment delays and physician well-being, adjusting for demographic factors, COVID-19 testing and ten COVID-19 pandemic concerns. RESULTS: 870 physicians completed the survey, 61% were surgeons. The mean age of physicians was 52 and 548 (63.9%) were female. 669 (79.4%) reported some delay in patient care as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 384 (44.1%) and 529 (60.8%) of physicians scored outside normal limits for anxiety and sleep disturbance, respectively. After adjusting for demographic factors and COVID-19 testing, mean anxiety and COVID-19 burnout scores were significantly higher among physicians whose patients experienced either delays in surgery, adjuvant chemotherapy, radiation, breast imaging or specialty consultation. A multivariable model adjusting for ten physician COVID-19 concerns and delays showed that "delays will impact my emotional well-being" was the strongest concern associated with anxiety, sleep disturbance and COVID-19 burnout factors. CONCLUSIONS: Breast cancer treatment delays during the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States were associated with a negative impact on physician emotional wellness.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/therapy , Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Oncologists , Time-to-Treatment , Anxiety/psychology , Breast Neoplasms/mortality , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Oncologists/psychology , Sleep , Surgeons/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
12.
PLoS One ; 15(11): e0242767, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-969650

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Cancer care is significantly impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Our objective was to evaluate the early effects of the pandemic on the emotional well-being of oncology providers across the United States and explore factors associated with anxiety and depression symptoms. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was administered to United States cancer-care physicians recruited over a two-week period (3/27/2020-4/10/2020) using snowball-convenience sampling through social media. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-4). RESULTS: Of 486 participants, 374 (77.0%) completed the PHQ-4: median age was 43 years; 63.2% female; all oncologic specialties were represented. The rates of anxiety and depression symptoms were 62.0% and 23.5%, respectively. Demographic factors associated with anxiety included female sex, younger age, and less time in clinical practice. Perception of inadequate personal protective equipment (68.6% vs. 57.4%, p = 0.03) and practicing in a state with more COVID-19 cases (65.8% vs. 51.1%, p = 0.01) were associated with anxiety symptoms. Factors significantly associated with both anxiety and depression included the degree to which COVID-19 has interfered with the ability to provide treatment to cancer patients and concern that patients will not receive the level of care needed for non-COVID-19 illness (all p-values <0.01). CONCLUSION: The perceived degree of interference with clinical practice along with personal concerns about COVID-19 were significantly associated with both anxiety and depression among oncology physicians in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings highlight factors associated with and sources of psychological distress to be addressed to protect the well-being of oncology physicians.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Mental Health , Oncologists/psychology , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Health Questionnaire , Personal Protective Equipment , United States/epidemiology
13.
JCO Glob Oncol ; 6: 1674-1683, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-967072

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected clinical practice in oncology, leading to organizational, ethical, and medical issues. In particular, it has raised challenges in the context of competing care priorities between COVID-19 and cancer treatment. Residents on the front line face difficulties related to increasing care needs and urgent reorganization of health care systems while managing psychological stress and uncertainty. We aimed to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on oncology residents. METHODS AND MATERIALS: We conducted a national survey (39 questions) in France among oncology and radiation therapy residents to determine the psychological impact and professional difficulties (eg, reassignment, training/research time, supervision, teleworking, management of patients) associated with the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: Overall, 222 residents (medical oncologists, 61%; radiation therapists, 39%) participated in our survey, representing approximately one third of all residents and fellows in France. One third of respondents had been reassigned to a COVID-19 ward. Training and research activity decreased for 89% and 41% of respondents, respectively. Two thirds (70%) of respondents declared that they had faced ethical issues, 35% felt worried about their own health, and 23% experienced psychological distress. According to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, 32% were anxious and 17% depressed. Consumption of tobacco, psychostimulants, and alcohol increased in 31%, 24%, and 29% of respondents, respectively. CONCLUSION: French oncology residents were highly affected by the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of professional activity and psychological impact. This national survey can be used as a basis for improved management, medical reorganization, and training of residents during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Medical Oncology/trends , Neoplasms/psychology , Pandemics , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , Delivery of Health Care , France/epidemiology , Humans , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/virology , Oncologists/psychology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
15.
Int J Clin Oncol ; 26(2): 335-344, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-882390

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared to be a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. On April 7, 2020, a state of emergency was declared in Japan, as had been by other nations worldwide. This unprecedented crisis has profound implications for patients undergoing chemotherapy and for practicing healthcare professionals. Various reports have shown data indicating that cancer patients with COVID-19 have high morbidity and mortality rates. In order to reduce the use of medical resources to avoid the risk of COVID-19 infections in both cancer patients and health care providers, oncologists now have to draw the line for cancer treatments by maintaining their efficacy while avoiding severe adverse events. In this article, we outlined the decisions made regarding the practice of gastrointestinal oncology in our institution during the COVID pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/drug therapy , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Oncologists/psychology , Humans , Infection Control , Japan , Pandemics , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Br J Cancer ; 123(5): 698-699, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-676750

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation or postponement of traditional face-to-face scientific conferences, necessitating a rapid change in the way new discoveries in cancer were shared with the cancer research community. Here I present personal reflections on the upsurge of virtual cancer conferences, discussing their pros and cons in the context of traditional face-to-face deliveries.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Biomedical Research/trends , Congresses as Topic/organization & administration , Congresses as Topic/trends , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Drug Discovery , Humans , Medical Laboratory Personnel/psychology , Neoplasms/therapy , Oncologists/psychology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Quarantine/methods , SARS-CoV-2
17.
JAMA Oncol ; 6(9): 1424-1428, 2020 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695709

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically changed the US health care system, causing an influx of patients who require resources. Many oncologists are having challenging conversations with their patients about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting cancer care and may desire evidence-based communication guidance. OBJECTIVES: To identify the clinical scenarios that pose communication challenges, understand patient reactions to these scenarios, and develop a communication guide with sample responses. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This qualitative study that was conducted at a single Midwestern academic medical center invited physicians to respond to a brief semistructured interview by email or telephone and then disseminated an anonymous online survey among patients with cancer. Oncology-specific, COVID-19-related clinical scenarios were identified by the physicians, and potential reactions to these scenarios were gleaned from the patient responses to the survey. Health communication experts were invited to participate in the iterative development of a communication guide, comprising 3 essential communication principles and strategies and informed by insights from physicians and patients. This study was conducted from March 25, 2020, to April 2, 2020. INTERVENTIONS: Expert review, interviews, and surveys assessing challenging situations specific to cancer management during the COVID-19 pandemic. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Oncology-specific, COVID-19-related clinical scenarios from physician interviews; responses to each scenario from patient surveys; and applicable communication principles from health communication expert literature review. RESULTS: Of the 8 physicians who participated in interviews, 4 were men (50%) and 4 were women (50%). These physicians represented the following disciplines: internal medicine (n = 1), hematology/oncology (n = 2), radiation oncology (n = 3), and surgical oncology (n = 2). Their disease site specialization included cancers of the breast, head and neck, melanoma, and gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. A total of 48 patients with cancer completed the online survey; no demographic information was collected from the patients. The physicians identified 8 oncology-specific, COVID-19-related scenarios in which communication might be challenging: (1) worse outcomes from COVID-19, (2) delay in cancer screening, (3) delay in diagnostic workup, (4) delay in initiation of treatment, (5) offer of nonstandard treatment, (6) treatment breaks, (7) delay in follow-up imaging or care, and (8) inability to be admitted into the hospital for management. Potential patient reactions to each of these scenarios were compiled from survey responses. For most scenarios, patient reactions involved anger, fear, and anxiety (eg, "I'm scared"; "This isn't fair. I am upset."). These emotional patient responses informed the selection of the 3 general communication principles, which suggested language and strategies that physicians can use to respond to patients. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this qualitative study, physicians and patients identified communication needs used by health communication experts to inform the development of a practical, evidence-based communication guide for oncology care during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Oncologists/psychology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Communication , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Female , Humans , Language , Male , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/virology , Patients/psychology , Physicians/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine
20.
JCO Glob Oncol ; 6: 1017-1023, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-635713

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: After coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the WHO, a response from the Italian Health System to react to an unprecedented condition became necessary and sudden. The COVID-19 pandemic has required oncologists to redefine clinical organization and patient management. The purpose of our study was to document the difficulties emerging during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Italian oncology. METHODS: We broadcasted an electronic survey to oncologic health care professionals. It consisted of 45 questions ranging from individual perception of pandemic management by hospital centers to physicians' and nurses' psychological distress and patient care. RESULTS: A total of 383 oncology health workers participated in the survey. The majority were female (71.8%) and from central Italy (46.2%). Impressively, a total of 357 (93%) participants declared the oncologic department reorganized routine clinical activity, but only 40.5% were adequately trained about the required procedures; 20% of the survey respondents think they have not received adequate and timely protective devices. CONCLUSION: Our survey demonstrated the flexibility of oncologic teams. However, the emergency response quality has been heterogeneous, and several drawbacks have emerged from the first analyses investigating how the world of oncology changes in the COVID-19 pandemic. Information, protection, testing, and training of health care professionals are key words that should be kept in mind to encourage recovery after this tragedy and to be ready to face a similar emergency in the future.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Nurses'/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Psychological Distress , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Infection Control , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Medical Oncology , Middle Aged , Nurses/psychology , Oncologists/psychology , Oncology Nursing , Oncology Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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