Healthcare utilization among breast cancer patients during the COVID-19 outbreak

Shiri Shinan-Altman, Inbar Levkovich, Guy Tavori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations
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Abstract

Objective Continuing to utilize healthcare as needed during an epidemic outbreak is significant, in general, and especially for cancer patients. Therefore, this study aimed to explore factors associated with health services utilization among breast cancer patients during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Method A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among 151 women with breast cancer. Participants completed measures of perceived health status, perceived susceptibility to COVID-19, anxiety, coping resources, health services utilization (contact with healthcare professionals and cancellation of an appointment to the oncology/hematology clinic), and socio-demographic questionnaires. A multiple hierarchical regression was calculated; contact with healthcare professionals was the dependent variable. In addition, a logistic regression was calculated; cancellation of an appointment to the oncology/hematology clinic because of the COVID-19 was the dependent variable. Results Breast cancer patients' contact with healthcare professionals was lower than their contact prior to the pandemic. A higher extent of contact with healthcare professionals was related to patients' perception of health as bad/reasonable, lower perceived susceptibility, a lower sense of mastery, and higher social support. In addition, the odds of cancelling an appointment to the oncology/hematology clinic were higher in the presence of additional chronic illnesses and a higher sense of mastery. Significance of results The results could provide public health agencies with a more complete picture of the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic among breast cancer patients. This is significant because, in the event that COVID-19 re-emerges, the findings of the current study could help guide public health officials and possibly prevent the future avoidance of health services' use among this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-391
Number of pages7
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press.

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Breast cancer
  • COVID-19
  • Coping resources
  • Health services utilization
  • Perceived susceptibility

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