Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, has inevitable consequences for medical care of patients without COVID-19. To assess the impact of this pandemic on oncological care, a nationwide survey was conducted among patients with cancer in the Netherlands. Methods: The patients' perspective on oncological care was investigated using an online survey between March 29th 2020 and April 18th 2020. The survey consisted of 20 questions on four topics: patients’ characteristics, contact with the hospital, consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about COVID-19. Results: Five thousand three hundred two patients with cancer completed this nationwide survey. Overall, 30% of patients reported consequences for their oncological treatment or follow-up. In the majority of cases, this resulted in conversion from hospital visit to consultation by phone or video. The most frequently adjusted treatments were chemotherapy (30%) and immunotherapy (32%). Among patients with delay and discontinuation of treatment, 55% and 63% of patients, respectively, were (very) concerned about these consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequences were independent of regional differences in COVID-19 incidence. However, patients in regions with high COVID-19 incidence were significantly more concerned. Conclusion: This is the first study investigating perspectives of patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study demonstrates the significant impact of the COVID-19 crisis on oncological care, indicating the need for psycho-oncological support during this pandemic.

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European Journal of Cancer
Department of Medical Oncology

de Joode, K. (K.), Dumoulin, D.W. (D. W.), Engelen, V, Bloemendal, H.J, Verheij, M, van Laarhoven, H.W.M, … van der Veldt, A.A.M. (A. A.M.). (2020). Impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on cancer treatment: the patients’ perspective. European Journal of Cancer, 136, 132–139. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2020.06.019