Introduction/Background The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge to healthcare system worldwide. Since December 2020 the COVID -19 vaccine is approved and available. Jet the vaccination rate and the acceptance differs between European countries. Understanding patients’ perspective and giving voice to their fears is of great importance to meet the new challenges in heath care system.
Methodology We performed a survey among patients with gynecological cancer in 6 European countries between March and June 2021. The questionnaire included questions related to COVID-19 and exploring patients’ attitude towards preventive measures and the HADS (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) score. The survey was promoted by national advocacy groups and was carried out online or as hard – copy version.
Results We collected 567 forms from 6 European countries. The median age of the participants was 61.3 in Denmark, 49.8 in Greece, 56.8 in Hungary, 61.2 in Poland, 56.4 in Turkey and 51.8 in UK. For only a small number of patients a change in the therapy plan due to COVID-19-Pandemic was necessary: 11.8% in Denmark, 21.4% in Greece, 12.5% in Hungary, 14.7% in Poland, 26.1% in UK. For patients of different countries the fear of cancer was greater as the fear of COVID-19. At time of the survey 65.4% in Denmark, 66.1% in Greece, 63.5% in Hungary, 47.8% in Poland, 24.7% in Turkey and 52.2% in UK have been already vaccinated and most were willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The HADS Scores were borderline abnormal or abnormal and similar between different countries.
Conclusion Among gynecological cancer patients anxiety and fear of cancer progression was stronger than fear of COVID-19. Health care professionalists should be aware of increased psychological burden due to COVID-19 pandemic and develop strategies to address this issue in patient care.
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