The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant global health impact, but particularly on people living with cancer, their families and carers. It is also affecting the delivery of cancer services, and the healthcare workers employed in these settings. This nationwide study aims to understand the psychosocial impact of the pandemic for these groups, and learn how it is affecting cancer care delivery, to subsequently drive the design of relevant support mechanisms and interventions both during and after this evolving health crisis.
Informed by existing insights from Cancer Council NSW (CCNSW) patient and carer support services and key informants involved cancer care delivery, we designed two surveys to assess COVID-19 impacts on:
Both surveys were launched mid-June 2020 and are still open. Expert CCNSW branding and media support enabled rapid dissemination and recruitment. As of 01/07/2020, we have received 194 patient, 41 carer, and 34 healthcare worker responses, with 126 patients/carers, and eight healthcare workers agreeing to be contacted for follow up research activities (e.g., interviews). Interim analysis will support rapid CCNSW program and service decision-making regarding the provision of support and interventions for cancer communities.
Results will be translated into key recommendations for cancer care in Australia to enhance healthcare system preparedness and resilience, should a second wave or future crisis events occur. Findings will guide intervention design for cancer patients, carers, and healthcare workers, which will be evaluated for impact.