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This study investigates current needs and psychosocial burden of out-patients with cancer during the COVID-19-Pandemic. Between 11/2020 and 02/2021 122 cancer patients who underwent out-patient treatment at the Comprehensive Cancer Center Munich participated in the study. Based on a standardized, semi-structured interview, participants were asked about their knowledge and informational needs related to COVID-19, risk perception and concerns regarding continuing out-patient treatment, COVID-19 related distress, confidence in the national health system, and their readiness to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Additionally, patients filled out the distress thermometer (DT). More than a third of the patients (34,2 %, n = 41/120) wanted to receive more information about the effects of the coronavirus on their cancer and their treatment. 17,2 % (n = 21/122) had faced changes concerning their current or planned treatment. 42/121 (34,7 %) of the patients were clinically distressed (DT ≥ 5). A possible overload of the health care system was the most commonly reported COVID-related concern (77,9 %, n = 95/122), followed by being concerned that their family members might be additionally worried about them (56,2 %, n = 68/121). 71,2 % (n = 74/104) of the patients are willing to be vaccinated; 60 % (n = 18/30) of those undecided or refusing at the time of the survey expressed a desire to have a consultation with an oncologist before giving their final consent to vaccination. Corona-specific distress of cancer patients relates in particular to the course of therapy, but also to a possible overload of the health care system. Oncology care teams should allow space for questions from their patients, acknowledge possible uncertainties, provide emotional support, and draw attention to reliable sources of information. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commecial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (


Theresia Pichler, Tamara Frank, Sabrina Maier, Ineke Batenhorst, Tanja Abawi-Daltrozzo, Nadia Harbeck, Hana Algül, Volker Heinemann, Kerstin Hermelink, Friederike Mumm, Andreas Dinkel. The views of cancer out-patients on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic]. Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1946). 2022 Apr;147(10):41-49

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PMID: 35545063

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