The psychological impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on cancer patients, a population at higher risk of fatal consequences if infected, has been only rarely evaluated. This study was conducted at the Departments of Oncology of four hospitals located in the Verona area in Italy to investigate the psychological consequences of the pandemic on cancer patients under active anticancer treatments. A 13-item ad hoc questionnaire to evaluate the psychological status of patients before and during the pandemic was administered to 474 consecutive subjects in the time frame between April 27th and June 7th 2020. Among the 13 questions, 7 were considered appropriate to elaborate an Emotional Vulnerability Index (EVI) that allows to separate the population in two groups (low versus high emotional vulnerability) according to observed median values. During the emergency period, the feeling of high vulnerability was found in 246 patients (53%) and was significantly associated with the following clinical variables: female gender, being under chemotherapy treatment, age ≤ 65 years. Compared to the pre-pandemic phase, the feeling of vulnerability was increased in 41 patients (9%), remained stably high in 196 (42%) and, surprisingly, was reduced in 10 patients (2%). Overall, in a population characterized by an high level of emotional vulnerability the pandemic had a marginal impact and only a small proportion of patients reported an increase of their emotional vulnerability.

Psychological impact of Covid-19 pandemic on oncological patients: a survey in Northern Italy

Tregnago, Daniela;Insolda, Jessica;Rimondini, Michela;Donisi, Valeria;Giuliani, Jacopo;Mercanti, Anna;Furlani, Lara;Pilotto, Sara;Avancini, Alice;Trestini, Ilaria;Moretti, Francesca;Milella, Michele;
2021

Abstract

The psychological impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on cancer patients, a population at higher risk of fatal consequences if infected, has been only rarely evaluated. This study was conducted at the Departments of Oncology of four hospitals located in the Verona area in Italy to investigate the psychological consequences of the pandemic on cancer patients under active anticancer treatments. A 13-item ad hoc questionnaire to evaluate the psychological status of patients before and during the pandemic was administered to 474 consecutive subjects in the time frame between April 27th and June 7th 2020. Among the 13 questions, 7 were considered appropriate to elaborate an Emotional Vulnerability Index (EVI) that allows to separate the population in two groups (low versus high emotional vulnerability) according to observed median values. During the emergency period, the feeling of high vulnerability was found in 246 patients (53%) and was significantly associated with the following clinical variables: female gender, being under chemotherapy treatment, age ≤ 65 years. Compared to the pre-pandemic phase, the feeling of vulnerability was increased in 41 patients (9%), remained stably high in 196 (42%) and, surprisingly, was reduced in 10 patients (2%). Overall, in a population characterized by an high level of emotional vulnerability the pandemic had a marginal impact and only a small proportion of patients reported an increase of their emotional vulnerability.
pandemics
COVID 19
cancers and neoplasms
emotions
cancer treatment
intravenous injections
prostate cancer
oncology
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1040179
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