HumanInsight Impact of the absence of dental support on cancer patients during COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study
Support Care Cancer. 2022 Oct 1. doi: 10.1007/s00520-022-07375-x. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: This study identifies the impact of the absence of dental support for patients with cancer whose clinical dental care was interrupted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
METHODS: Individuals with oncologic diseases were selected from a telephone list of a Clinical Research Center (CRC) that specialized in the care of patients with cancer at the Bauru School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo (FOB/USP). The convenience sample comprised 280 patients (aged > 18 years) with a history of cancer that underwent dental treatment at the FOB/USP CRC in 2019 and did not receive care in 2020 owing to the pandemic. The participants completed a questionnaire sent via email or a text messaging application. Individuals receiving treatment or who were already treated for cancer were divided into two groups for data tabulation. Statistical analyses were performed using Fisher's and chi-square tests.
RESULTS: Of the 280 patients, 104 answered the questionnaire, and 75 (72.1%) were women. Among the women, 45 (60.0%) were receiving antineoplastic treatment, and 30 (40.0%) had already been treated. Among the men, 15 (51.7%) were receiving antineoplastic treatment, and 14 (48.3%) had already been treated. Regarding oral problems that arose during the pandemic, dental pain when eating hot or cold food or drinks (57.0%), muscle pain (53.8%), and difficulties when chewing (51.0%) were the most common reported among patients. Furthermore, most individuals reported not having received any type of remote dental follow-up, before being contacted by our team, which could contribute to reducing these oral problems.
CONCLUSION: It is impossible to say whether the absence of dental support in cancer patients during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had a negative impact on oral issue rates.
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