BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is an international public health crisis. The risk of getting an infection with COVID-19 might impact the emotional well-being in patients with cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate quality of life (QoL) for patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional survey, including questions about demographics, concerns of COVID-19 impact on cancer treatment and outpatient clinic visits, and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 questionnaire was sent to patients with cancer at the Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital, Denmark. The survey was open from 15th May to 29th May 2020, and 4.571 responded. Results were compared to the Danish 'Barometer Study' conducted by the Danish Cancer Society to elucidate experiences with the Danish healthcare system prior to COVID-19 pandemic.
RESULTS: In total, 9% of patients with cancer had refrained from consulting a doctor or the hospital due to fear of COVID-19 infection, and 80% were concerned about contracting COVID-19 to some extent. Seventeen patients were tested positive for COVID-19. The mean global QoL and emotional functioning (EF) scores were 71.3 and 82.8, respectively. In comparison to the 'Barometer Study', no clinical significant differences in QoL and EF scores were observed. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that being 'Concerned about contracting corona-virus' was correlated with lower QoL and EF scores. Factors associated with being concerned of contracting COVID-19 were comorbid conditions, incurable cancer, receiving medical cancer treatment and female gender.
CONCLUSION: Danish patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic did not have lower scores of QoL and emotional functioning compared to the Danish 'Barometer Study'. However, the study suggests that concerns of contracting COVID-19 was correlated with lower scores of QoL.