Luisa E. Jacomina, Imee Loren C. Lim, Eugene Richard T. Yap, Kelvin Ken L. Yu, Lester Bryan A. Co, Julie Ann R. Tapispisan, Jayson L. Co, Warren R. Bacorro, Michael Benedict A. Mejia, Teresa T. Sy Ortin
Apr 2023 DOI 10.35460/2546-1621.2021-0018 Access
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global public health emergency. High levels of fear and limited access to cancer treatment may jeopardize the delivery of optimal oncologic care, potentially influencing treatment outcomes. This study aimed to identify patients’ and their caregivers’ perception of safety and accessibility of cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of patients and caregivers at the Benavides Cancer Institute, University of Santo Tomas Hospital was performed from August to October 2020 using a 20-item investigator-developed questionnaire.
Results: A total of 207 participants answered the survey. Frequency of hospital visits varied from none to more than ten times in the previous month; but having multiple postponements were uncommon. Eighty-two percent, 77%, 62%, and 55% of participants reported being afraid of contracting COVID-19 from other patients, hospital surroundings, hospital staff, and doctors, respectively. Twenty-six percent and 12% had difficulty finding transportation and passing through checkpoints, respectively. Twenty-eight percent strongly expressed financial limitations in prioritizing cancer care. Participants were amenable to the use of telemedicine and stringent protocols to reduce in-hospital transmission risk, but had some reluctance to spend out of their pockets for screening tests.
Conclusion: The perceived safety of cancer care was influenced by fears of contracting COVID-19; and accessibility was influenced by limited transportation and financial constraints. Despite these, multiple postponements and cancelled hospital visits were uncommon. Institutional approaches targeting these concerns will be crucial to ensure safe and timely delivery of cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic and further mitigate its impact on oncologic outcomes.
Key words: cancer care, COVID-19 pandemic, safety, accessibility
- World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019. Accessed November 13, 2020.
- World Health Organization. WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19, March 11, 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020. Accessed May 19, 2020.
- Department of Health. COVID-19 tracker. Available from: https://www.doh.gov.ph/covid19tracker. Accessed November 13, 2020.
- Liang W, Guan W, Chen R, Wang W, Li J, Xu K, et al. Cancer patients in SARS-CoV-2 infection: a nationwide analysis in China. Lancet Oncol [Internet]. 2020;21(3):335–7. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30096-6
- Ho A-S, Alhazzani W, Alhuraiji A. A practical approach to the management of cancer patients during the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID -19) pandemic: An international collaborative group. Oncologist [Internet]. 2020;25(6):1–10. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2020-0213
- Burki TK. Cancer guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lancet Oncol [Internet]. 2020;21(5):629–30. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30217-5
- Ueda M, Martins R, Hendrie PC, McDonnell T, Crews JR, Wong TL, et al. Managing cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic: Agility and collaboration toward a common goal. J Natl Compr Canc Netw [Internet]. 2020;18(4):1–4. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7560
- Gebbia V, Piazza D, Valerio MR, Borsellino N, Firenze A. Patients with cancer and COVID-19: A WhatsApp messenger-based survey of patients’ queries, needs, fears, and actions taken. JCO Glob Oncol [Internet]. 2020;6(6):722–9. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/GO.20.00118
- Ng KYY, Zhou S, Tan SH, Ishak NDB, Goh ZZS, Chua ZY, et al. Understanding the psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on patients with cancer, their caregivers, and health care workers in Singapore. JCO Glob Oncol [Internet]. 2020;6(6):1494–509. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/GO.20.00374
- Republic of the Philippines Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Omnibus guidelines on the implementation of community quarantine in the Philippines. Available from: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200429-Omnibus-Guidelines-on-the-Implementation-of-Community-Quarantine-in-the-Philippines.pdf. Published 2020. Accessed October 29, 2020.
- Casanova M, Pagani Bagliacca E, Silva M, Patriarca C, Veneroni L, Clerici CA, et al. How young patients with cancer perceive the COVID-19 (coronavirus) epidemic in Milan, Italy: Is there room for other fears? Pediatr Blood Cancer [Internet]. 2020;67(7):e28318. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28318
Articles related to the one you are viewing
There are currently no results to show, please try again later
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, which permits use, share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material, as long as you give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original. You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.