e-Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2020

The psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on cancer communities and cancer care delivery (PEACH-C19) (#356)

Natalie Taylor 1 2 , Rhiannon Edge 1 , Zhicheng Li 1 , Priscilla Chan 1 , Gabriella Tiernan 1 , April Morrow 1 , Alexandra Schiavuzzi 1 , Carolyn Mazariego 1 2 , Amy Vassallo 1
  1. Cancer Council NSW, Woolloomooloo, NSW, Australia
  2. Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia


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:

  • Cancer patients and their carers – focusing on access to diagnostic tests and treatment, views and experiences of telehealth services, health behaviours, and psychosocial factors (survey 1).
  • Healthcare workers employed in cancer services – focusing on preparedness for crisis and organisational resilience, impact on cancer care delivery, positive changes in healthcare delivery, response and recovery strategies needed, psychosocial impact (survey 2).

Translational outcomes

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.

Future action

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.