The pandemic has presented professional and personal challenges for the MO workforce. CAMO sought to examine the temporal effects of C19 on MOs and care practices across Canada.
Three serial multiple-choice, web-based surveys were conducted in 2020 – from Mar 30th to April 4th (S1), May 6th to May 15th (S2) and Dec 10th to 18th (S3). The surveys were distributed by email to MOs identified through CAMO and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons directory (n=618). Participation was voluntary with no compensation. Descriptive analyses with frequency distributions are reported.
The timing for S1 and S3 coincided with the 1st and 2nd C19 waves in Canada. Response rates decreased slightly: 26% S1, 25% S2 and 20% S3. Per table, demographics were similar across surveys: majority of respondents were from a comprehensive cancer centre and in practice for < 15 years. Concerns regarding PPE access and C19 personal risk decreased over time. A high rate of telemedicine was observed in S1 but this notably decreased by S3, despite the 2nd wave. A similar decreasing trend was observed in the proportion of altered chemotherapy plans due to C19. Similar levels of anxiety, depression, lack of focus and concerns for personal wellness were maintained over time. In S3, respondents noted delayed cancer diagnoses and oncologist burnout as the top 2 post-pandemic challenges, and 87% believed their workload would increase. Table: 1606P
|Less than 15 years in practice||59%||54%||61%|
|Cancer centre (vs community)||87%||86%||81%|
|Concern re: PPE access||69%||28%||16%|
|Moderate-extreme concern about getting C19||79%||54%||59%|
|Anxiety on most-all days||54%||32%||34%|
|Depressed on most-all days||19%||14%||16%|
|Lack of focus on most-all days||33%||31%||29%|
|Concerned for personal wellness||57%||56%||62%|
|Use telemedicine for > 75% of encounters||45%||50%||13%|
|Altered chemo plans for > 20% of patients||33%||20%||4%|
As the pandemic continues, positive trends can be observed in concerns around PPE access and C19 risk. A high level of telemedicine adoption was observed early in the pandemic but is decreasing, and chemotherapy plans remained unchanged for most patients. Concerns regarding personal wellness remained high across all 3 surveys. Proactive strategies to support physician wellness, mitigate burnout and manage MO workload are needed.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.