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"You matter": patients perceptions and disparities about  cancer care and telehealth during and after COVID-19 pandemic


"You matter": patients perceptions and disparities about  cancer care and telehealth during and after COVID-19 pandemic

Support Care Cancer. 2024 Mar 20;32(4):236. doi: 10.1007/s00520-024-08433-2.


PURPOSE: Disparities in cancer care have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study is to establish how telehealth mitigated the effect of COVID-19 on the healthcare sector and to identify potential disparities in perception and experience with telehealth in cancer care during and after the pandemic.

METHODS: We identified individuals with an established cancer diagnosis who received treatment at a comprehensive academic cancer center with a diverse patient population between 2019 and 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were asked to complete a self-administrated survey intended to collect patient-reported outcomes on socioeconomic and mental health challenges incurred during the pandemic as well as participants' experience with telehealth. The assessment was adapted from a 21-question-based survey applied for mental health. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize participant characteristics and the response to the survey items. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess and analyze the contributing factors to the survey responses.

RESULTS: A total of N = 136 participants were included in this analysis. The majority of participants (60.6%) reported increased anxiety, stress, or experience of distress as a direct result of COVID-19. However, among 54.1% of survey responders participated in a telehealth appointment and 84.4% agreed it was an easy and effective experience.

CONCLUSION: Elderly, male, and black participants reported the worst impact related to the pandemic. The majority of patients had a positive experience with telehealth. The results of the study suggest that telehealth services can serve as a tool for patients with cancer during and beyond active treatment to access supportive services.

PMID:38506939 | DOI:10.1007/s00520-024-08433-2

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