Assessment of Cancer Patient and Caregiver Perspective on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Impact on Delivery of Cancer Care at an Institution with a Confirmed Case of COVID-19

Singh, Simron | $44,700

Ontario Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

Understanding the perspectives that cancer patients and their family members and caregivers have toward the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) will be essential to ensure the continuity of their cancer treatments through this infectious outbreak in both the short and long term. A particular dimension that is under-explored and researched is the impact that infectious outbreaks have on the risk perception of cancer patients, including those who are at increased risk of developing infections due to their treatments and immunocompromised state. Furthermore, in the era of continuous and rapid news reporting, social media, and messaging platforms, the proliferation and distribution of COVID-2019 content is unprecedented and further driving distress among this group of patients and caregivers who need to visit medical instituions at regular intervals. At Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center Odette Cancer Center in Toronto, Ontario, we have seen an unprecedented number of clinic appointment cancellations due to fears of being exposed to COVID-2019 given we were the first Canadian institution to confirm a patient infected with COVID-2019. Therefore, to better understand this phenomenon, we have designed a research proposal to address this under explored area in order to develop educational tools to help patients and their families/caregivers make informed decisions based on the true risks during this outbreak with appropriate levels of concern and mitigation. We expect these education interventions to empower patients and families/caregivers on the true risks of COVID-2019 infection and in turn prevent inappropriate clinic cancellations and sub-optimal care for patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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