Patients' Experiences with Cancer Care: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Academic Article uri icon


  • The COVID-19 pandemic heightened the psychosocial impact of a cancer diagnosis as patients face concerns about the risk of infection and serious disease and uncertainties about the impact on their treatment. We conducted an online survey (n=317) and focus groups (n=19) with patients to examine their experiences with cancer care during the pandemic. Most survey respondents (68%) reported one or more disruptions or delays in care, including appointments switched to telehealth (49%). Patients perceived both benefits (e.g., convenience) and drawbacks (e.g., more impersonal) to telehealth. For many patients, COVID-19-related restrictions on bringing family members to support them during appointments was a major concern and left them feeling alone and vulnerable during treatment. Patients' self-reported coping during the pandemic was positively associated with age, education, and income (P<.05 for each) and better communication with their doctors during telehealth sessions (P<.001). Study findings highlight the importance of patient-centered care and communication to help patients cope with the challenges of the pandemic. Further research is needed to develop guidelines for use of telehealth as part of patient-centered cancer care.

published proceedings

  • J Patient Exp

altmetric score

  • 4.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Treiman, K., Kranzler, E. C., Moultrie, R., Arena, L., Mack, N., Fortune, E., Garcia, R., & Street, R. L.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Treiman, Katherine||Kranzler, Elissa C||Moultrie, Rebecca||Arena, Laura||Mack, Nicole||Fortune, Erica||Garcia, Reese||Street, Richard L

publication date

  • January 2022