BioScience Trends. 2022;16(3):230-237. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2022.01251)

Needs of cancer patients during the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron lockdown: A population-based survey in Shanghai, China

Chen MX, Li RJ, Ding G, Jin CL


The aim of this study was to investigate the medical and healthcare needs of cancer patients during the Shanghai lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron pandemic. From April 15 to April 21, 2022, 4,195 cancer patients from every district in Shanghai were surveyed using quota sampling via an online platform. The questionnaire consisted of three main parts: demographic and sociological data, disease diagnosis, and different dimensions of patients' needs. Correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between participants' need scores in each dimension, and generalized linear regression models were used to analyze the factors influencing patients' need scores. The mean age of participants was 63.23 years (SD: 7.43 years), with more female than male participants (80.38% vs. 19.62%). Among participants, the three leading groups of patients were those with breast cancer (39.02%), colorectal cancer (12.82%), or tracheal and bronchial lung cancer (10.23%). Social support, dietary/ nutritional support, and psychological counselling ranked as the top three needs of cancer patients. In addition, vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 may reduce psychological anxiety in cancer patients. Compared to participants who had never received the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, participants who had received one, two, or three doses of the vaccine were respectively 36% (odds ratio (OR): 0.64, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.56-0.73), 38% (OR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.59-0.54), and 37% (OR: 0.63, 95% CI: 0.60-0.66) less likely to have an increased need for psychological counseling. In light of constraints on offline medical resources for cancer patients during the lockdown, the current authors have begun to re-examine the universal accessibility and spread of telemedicine in the future. In addition, immune barriers can be established for cancer patients and vaccination guidelines for different disease stages, tumor types, and treatment regimens can be explored in detail.

KEYWORDS: Shanghai lockdown, SARS-CoV-2 Omicron, cancer patients, needs

Full Text: