Associate Professor, MD, PhD Stefan Starup Jeppesen Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital
Projektet i tal
OPEN undersøgelse/kliniske data
Forventet # af deltagere
Inkluderet antal deltagere
Inkluderede deltagere med prøver
COVID-19 pandemic impact on patients with cancer - a Danish survey (COPICADS)
The outbreak of coronavirus was categorized as a global pandemic in March 2020. The Danish government recommends social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Long-term social distancing and fear of disease can lead to anxiety, depression and the feeling of loneliness. All these factors might affect the quality of life (QoL).
The aim of this study is to investigate the overall QoL for patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic with special focus on emotional functioning.
Since the detection of the novel coronavirus also called COVID-19 in december 2019 it has affected many people worldwide. The outbreak of coronavirus was categorized as a global pandemic in March 2020.
The focus of the Danish health care system is on patients infected with COVID-19. In order to limit the spread of this disease, the Danish government recommends social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, long-term social distancing and fear of disease can lead to anxiety, depression and the feeling of loneliness. All these factors might affect the quality of life (QoL). The fear of the COVID-19 among the Danish population is thought to be high sincer cancer referrals to the departments have decreased markedly during the pandemic - probably because people avoid appointments at the hospital or general practitioner.
A population that may be seriously impacted by the COVID-19 disease is the group of patients with cancer. Patients with cancer are in high risk of serious illness of infections because the cancer and antineoplastic treatment often weaken the immune system. However, no reports are available regarding higher incidence of COVID-19 in patients with cancer. The patients with cancer might be practicing social distancing even more than the general population and the well-being for this group of patients may be even more affected by the COVID-19 disease.
In Denmark, during the coronavirus outbreak different treatment guidelines have been conducted to minimize the risk of infection with the COVID-19 virus, but also the impact of pandemic on the cancer treatment and follow-up program. Also European recommendations have been conducted to help clinicians deal with various aspects of cancer care. Immunotherapy for patients with cancer can be changed from a 3 week schedule to a 6 week schedule and many palliative radiation treatments can be changed from a schedule of 10 fractions to 5 fractions. Furthermore, it is recommended by the European societies of medical oncology and radiation oncology to avoid hospital appointments for patients with cancer. In follow-up programmes outpatient clinic visits can be done over the phone or may even be postponed.
Avoiding exposure to the COVID-19 virus can be essential for patients with cancer. The new pandemic situation can cause serious concerns for this group of patients. Many visits at the oncological outpatient clinics are being cancelled or appointments are done by phone to avoid as many contacts to the health system as possible. The lack of face-to-face contact to the staff at the Departments of Oncology might cause worries and anxiety for the patients and their relatives, because of the risk of less detaled information regarding side effects of treatment as well as cancer related symptoms. Patients may also worry that their antineoplastic treatment will be discontinued or changed due to the reduction of visits at the outpatient clinics. Overall the QoL can be affected for patients with cancer. A structured and unified approach to the COVID-19 prevention and care specific to cancer patients and cancer centers is highly needed. Many of the initiatives to avoid face-to-face contact during the COVID-19 pandemic e.g. telephonic of web-technology contacts, for consultation may continue in the time after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is therefore of interest to explore the patients' QoL and to investigate their satisfaction with cancer treatment and follow-up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Description of the cohort
Patients are recruited at the Department of Oncology and the Department of Haematology, Odense University Hospital, Denmark. The inclusion criteria for the study are: patients who are recieving cancer treatment or patients in follow-up for a solid cancer diagnosis will be invited to enroll in this study
Collaborating researchers and departments
Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital
MD Lise Eckhoff, PhD
MD Rikke Hedegaard Dahlrot, PhD
MD Line Schmidt Tarpgaard, PhD
MD Linda Holst-Christensen
MD Hanne Spangsberg Holm
MD Trine Lembrecht Jørgensen, PhD
MD Kristian Kirkelund Bentsen, PhD-student
Department of Haematology, Odense University Hospital