Older survivors of cancer in the COVID-19 pandemic : Reflections and recommendations for future care

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved..

PURPOSE: Although the year after cancer treatment is challenging for all cancer survivors, older adults (≥60 years) face additional challenges due to age-related decline and high rates of comorbidity. There is a paucity of research on how health service interruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the experience of older cancer survivors. In this study we explore older cancer survivors' reflections on the pandemic and their suggestions for future care delivery when traditionally offered resources are not available.

METHODS: We conducted 1:1 telephone interviews with adults 60 years and older previously diagnosed with breast and colorectal cancer and recently (≤12 months) discharged from their cancer care team. We analyzed the data using descriptive thematic analysis.

RESULTS: The mean sample (n = 30) age was 72.1 years (SD 5.8, Range 63-83) of whom 57% identified as female. Participants described personal and societal implications of the pandemic. that affected their ability to navigate social support, and public and clinical landscapes. These reflections informed their suggestions for future health care delivery, such as how they could have been better prepared to self-manage their post-cancer treatment journey. Participants recommendations were grouped into four sub-themes: 1) enhanced baseline information; 2) facilitate caregiver support and engagement; 3) greater technology integration; and 4) sustained use and public appreciation of personal protective equipment.

CONCLUSION: Older cancer survivors appreciate the needed shift to virtual appointments and services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific strategies to bolster older adults existing strengths and improve their readiness to engage in these measures are critical.

Media Type:

Electronic Article

Year of Publication:

2021

Contained In:

Journal of geriatric oncology - Vol. 12, No. 3 (2021), p. 461-466

Language:

English

Contributors:

Haase, Kristen R
Kain, Danielle
Merchant, Shaila
Booth, Christopher
Koven, Rachel
Brundage, Michael
Galica, Jacqueline

Links:

Volltext

Keywords:

*COVID-19
*Cancer Survivors
*Delivery of Health Care
*Personal Protective Equipment
*Social Support
Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Attitude to Health
Breast Neoplasms
COVID-19
Cancer
Colorectal Neoplasms
Female
Humans
Journal Article
Male
Middle Aged
Older adults
Qualitative Research
Qualitative methods
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
SARS-CoV-2
Survivorship
Telemedicine

Notes:

Date Completed 12.04.2021

Date Revised 12.04.2021

published: Print-Electronic

Citation Status MEDLINE

Copyright: From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Physical Description:

Online-Ressource

doi:

10.1016/j.jgo.2020.11.009

PMID:

33303410

PPN (Catalogue-ID):

NLM31969495X