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ePoster Display

1606P - Impact of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2, C19) on medical oncologists (MOs) and cancer care: A Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists (CAMO) survey study


16 Sep 2021


ePoster Display


Sharlene Gill


Annals of Oncology (2021) 32 (suppl_5): S1129-S1163. 10.1016/annonc/annonc713


S. Gill1, B. Colwell2, S. Welch3, D. Hao4

Author affiliations

  • 1 Systemic Therapy, BC Cancer - Vancouver, V5Z 4E6 - Vancouver/CA
  • 2 Medical Oncology, Dalhousie University, Halifax/CA
  • 3 Medical Oncology, London Health Sciences Centre, London/CA
  • 4 Medical Oncology Department, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, T2N 4N2 - Calgary/CA

Abstract 1606P


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

S1 S2 S3
N 159 157 124
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

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.


Has not received any funding.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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