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Patient reported experiences of Swedish patients being investigated for cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Regional Cancer Center Southeast, Linköping, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5213-9555
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3858-8474
Regional Cancer Center Southeast, Linköping, Sweden; Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Regional Cancer Center Southeast, Linköping, Sweden; Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
2023 (English)In: Supportive Care in Cancer, ISSN 0941-4355, E-ISSN 1433-7339, Vol. 31, no 7, article id 416Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Patient reported experiences in individuals being investigated for cancer have been recorded in a nationwide survey in Sweden, providing an opportunity to assess the impact of the Covid-19-pandemic.

Material and Methods: Questionnaires from 45920 patients were analyzed to assess the experience of being investigated for cancer. Data from before the Covid-19-pandemic (2018–2019) was compared to data acquired during the pandemic (2020–2021), using chi-square and Wilcoxon rank sum tests. Both, patients who were cleared from suspicion of cancer and those who were diagnosed with cancer were included.

Results: Fewer patients in total visited health services during the pandemic. However, patients that did seek help did so to a similar extent during as prior to the pandemic. Patient waiting time was perceived to be shorter during the pandemic and judged as neither too long nor too short by most patients. The emotional support to patients improved during the pandemic, whereas the support to next of kin declined. A majority of patients received the results from the investigation in a meeting with the physician. Although there was a preference for receiving results in a meeting with the physician, the pandemic has brought an increasing interest in receiving results by phone.

Conclusion: Swedish cancer healthcare has shown resilience during the Covid-19-pandemic, maintaining high patient satisfaction while working under conditions of extraordinary pressure. Patients became more open to alternatives to physical “in person” health care visits which could lead to more digital visits in the future. However, support to significant others demands special attention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2023. Vol. 31, no 7, article id 416
Keywords [en]
Cancer, Covid-19, Emotional support, Oncology, Patient reported experience measures, Patient satisfaction
National Category
Cancer and Oncology Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-211789DOI: 10.1007/s00520-023-07897-yISI: 001017657700003PubMedID: 37354327Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85162781593OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-211789DiVA, id: diva2:1782026
Available from: 2023-07-12 Created: 2023-07-12 Last updated: 2023-07-12Bibliographically approved

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Tufvesson Stiller, HelenaSchmitt-Egenolf, Marcus

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