A paper published in Psycho-Oncology earlier this month suggests that patients with stage III and IV cancer have worse quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers from Lodz in Poland examined the quality of life of 238 patients with different types of stage III and IV cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy. Data from these patients were compared to a reference group of 8,066 cancer patients who were not in a pandemic at the time.

The researchers found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, global quality of life was significantly lower than that of the reference group. Physical and emotional functioning were similar between the two groups, but cognitive (perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning) and social functioning were significantly lower in the pandemic group.

Social roles did not seem to be affected, although difficulties were inability to perform work and reduction in the efficiency of work. The effect of the cancer on restrictions on hobbies and other pastime activities did not differ significantly between the pandemic group and the reference group.

However, symptoms were worse for the pandemic group, the most affected being insomnia and fatigue, followed by loss of appetite.

Read more in Practice Update here