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Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on cancer patients: A cross-sectional study


1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Government Medical College, Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Correspondence Address:
Mustafa Ali,
Government Medical College Kathua, House No: 49-F, New Plot, Jammu- Jammu & Kashmir (UT)
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.jcrt_1348_21

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has globally impacted not only physical wellbeing but also the mental aspects in a far more extensive manner. The prevalence of psychological issues in cancer patients is much higher than in the general population, and the same has been impacted more during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study was to estimate the psychological impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of cancer patients with no prior history of any form of mental disease. Methodology: A cross-sectional study of both inpatients and outpatients undergoing treatment and follow-up for different forms of cancer was conducted, and patients were assessed for perceived risk, anxiety, and depression. Results: Among the total of 150 participants, 31.8% of patients reported fear and concern. The major concern was regarding fear of treatment delay and fear of getting lonely. Over the prevalence of anxiety disorder with a cut-off score of ≥10 based on Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 and Patient Depression Health Questionnaire-9 were 34% and 24%, respectively. Patient with female gender, married, being treated for ovarian cancer and who does not have metastatic changes were more anxious. Depressive symptoms were more in female patients, those who are married, and in the group with treatment delay due to COVID-19. Conclusion: There is urgent need for psychological intervention among cancer patients as there is an increase in mental health problems in this special group due to COVID-19 pandemic.


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