The Impact of the Early COVID-19 Global Pandemic on Children Undergoing Active Cancer Treatment and Their Parents

Andrew Tran, Sharon H.J. Hou, Caitlin Forbes, Sara Cho, Victoria J. Forster, Mehak Stokoe, Claire E. Wakefield, Lori Wiener, Lauren C. Heathcote, Gisela Michel, Pandora Patterson, Kathleen Reynolds, Fiona S.M. Schulte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

(1) Background: The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted people worldwide with unique implications for vulnerable groups. In this cross-sectional study, we examined the impact of the early pandemic on children undergoing active cancer treatment and their parents. (2) Methods: In May 2020, 30 parents of children undergoing active cancer treatment completed an online survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their child’s cancer care, perceived utility of telemedicine, and child and parent mental health status. (3) Results: Most participants (87%) reported that they did not experience any changes to major cancer treatments. Among those who reported using telemedicine, 78% reported this to be beneficial. Over half of the participants reported that their child’s mental health status was worse now than prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Parent-reported child anxiety scores were significantly higher for those who reported changes to mental health care for their child compared to those who did not report the same, t(25.99) = −3.04, p = 0.005. (4) Conclusion: Child and parent mental health status were affected when compared to pre-pandemic. Telemedicine appears to be a promising complement to face-to-face meetings for some families and warrants further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2441-2456
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Oncology
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • active treatment
  • COVID-19
  • mental health
  • pediatric oncology
  • psychosocial oncology

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