WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stage III and IV cancer have worse quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a research letter published online June 17 in Psycho-Oncology.
Magdalena Ciazynska, Ph.D., from the Nicolaus Copernicus Multidisciplinary Center for Oncology and Traumatology in Lodz, Poland, and colleagues examined quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic for 238 patients with stage III and IV of different types of cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Data were compared to reference values from 8,066 cancer patients obtained under nonepidemic conditions.
The researchers found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, global quality of life was significantly lower than that of the reference group. Similar physical and emotional functioning were observed, while cognitive and social functioning were significantly lower than the reference values. Role functioning seemed unaffected by the pandemic compared with the reference group. The difficulties observed in functioning in social roles were inability to perform work and reduction in the efficiency of work. Compared with the reference group, answers relating to the effect of restrictions on hobbies and other pastime activities did not differ significantly. On average, symptom scales were worse than reference values. The most disturbing were insomnia and fatigue, followed by loss of appetite.
"The oncology community, despite having to deal with unprecedented challenges in treating patients, at the same time identifies risk factors that deteriorate patients' quality of life to ensure that their safety and well-being are not affected," Ciazynska said in a statement.