Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic seriously affects the mood, sleep and induce patients' stress in an oncological environment. To date there is no data available on cancer patients under the COVID-19 pandemic and its influence on anxiety and depression status.
Methods: A survey of 421 patients treated in an oncology center was conducted. The survey included Patient Health Questionnaire and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire to evaluate the influence of pandemic on the cancer patients' status of anxiety and depression.
Results: More than half of cancer patients (50.7%) during the COVID-19 pandemic had symptoms of anxiety, whereas the incidence of depression was 46.8%. Living alone contributes to a higher risk of depression (P=0.026) and anxiety (P=0.031). Moreover, patients having an acquaintance or a relative infected with COVID-19 were more susceptible to suffer severe anxiety (P=0.028).
Conclusions: Half of cancer patients are more likely to show increased incidence of depression and anxiety. There is a strong necessity to detect and treat depression and anxiety in cancer patients to increase the quality of life and reduce mortality. During this challenging time, the oncology community faces extraordinary issues to enhance the mental health for people with cancer.