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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 172-179

Psychological burden on cancer patients and their caregivers during COVID-19 pandemic in India


1 Department of Surgical Oncology, HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, Nashik, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, Nashik, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Psycho-Oncology, HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, Nashik, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of Medical Research, HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, Nashik, Maharashtra, India
5 Department of Medicine, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
6 Department of Academics, HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, Nashik, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
M.S Raj Nagarkar
Nashik 422011, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/TPSY.TPSY_35_21

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Objective: Psychological burden is a serious issue facing by the cancer patients and their caregivers (CGs) around the world during the pandemic situations such as COVID-19. In the present study, we assessed the psychological burden on cancer patients and their CGs during this COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: The study was done using standardized questionnaire of the most validated scales - perceived stress scale and the caregiver strain index. Results: A total of 334 patients and 257 CGs participated in the present study. Majority of the patients experienced moderate to high level of stress (n = 239 [72%]), while CGs experienced a high level of strain (n = 132 [52%]). In the patient's cohort, stress was dependent significantly on education (p < 0.01), gender (p < 0.05), on active treatment (p < 0.001), and surgery (p < 0.05). Among CGs, strain was significantly affected by less education CGs (p < 0.001), patients more on active treatment (p < 0.01), and more primary gastrointestinal tumors (p < 0.01). From multivariate analysis of pandemic-specific factors, difficulty in transportation (p < 0.01) and increased financial burden (p < 0.05) were found to be significant influencing factors affecting the stress level of patients. Conclusion: To overcome the psychological burden due to lockdown, we suggest the initiation of psychosocial caring in all the necessary patients and their CGs to demonstrate its benefits in the long term.


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