FEAR OF COVID-19 OR FEAR OF CANCER – OR FEAR OF THEM BOTH?
IMPACT OF RECENT PANDEMICS ON FEAR OF CANCER RECURRENCE IN CANCER SURVIVORS
Csaba László Dégi, Éva Kállay, Flavia Lăcrimioara Medrea | Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania
Degi, C., Kallay, E., & Medrea, F. (2022). Fear of COVID-19 or fear of cancer – or fear of them both? Impact of recent pandemics on fear of cancer recurrence in cancer survivors. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology Research and Practice, 4:S1, 152 | https://journals.lww.com/jporp/Documents/2022%20IPOS%20Congress%20Abstracts.pdf
Background/rationale or Objectives/purpose
Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is one of the most common responses reported by patients and is the expected reaction to confronting this complex disease. Elevated levels of FCR can lead to dysfunctional responses, affect well-being, quality of life, occupational performance, anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. The mental health of people who have cancer will be negatively affected given limited access to follow-up care and the medical system being overburdened during the COVID -19 pandemic, potentially exacerbating preexisting FCR.
Methodology or Methods
The goal of this review was to compile research data on factors linked to a greater FCR in cancer survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nine quantitative or mixed-method studies (N = 4831 patients) were included in the analysis. Scoping reviews often lay the ground for more complex analyses on a topic in situations when such investigations do not yet exist.
Impact on practice or Results
Results suggest that high levels of FCR correlate with fears and concerns about the impact of the pandemic, with the most common patient concerns being changes in the treatment schedule (delays and interruptions), disrupted communication with medical staff, and concerns about the impact of the pandemic on access to food or medications. During the COVID-19 pandemic, married status, childlessness, low socioeconomic situation, degree of education, kind of cancer diagnosis, and generalized anxiety or depression were the most prevalent predictors of FCR.
Discussion or Conclusions
We recommend that the results of this study be considered as evidence of the need for further investigation of FCR during the COVID-19 pandemic that will change cancer care.
More information can be found at the web address: https://www.capo.ca/IPOS2022.