Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a vast impact on cancer service delivery around the world. Previously reported results from our international survey of oncology clinicians, conducted through March-April 2020, found that clinicians reported altering management in both the curative and palliative settings and not in proportion to the COVID-19 case burden in their region of practice. This follow-up survey, conducted from 27th September to 7th November 2020, aimed to explore how attitudes and practices evolved over the 2020 pandemic period. Participants and methods: Participants were medical, radiation and surgical oncologist and trainees. Surveys were distributed electronically via ESMO and other collaborating professional societies. Participants were asked to compare their practice prior to the pandemic to both the period of March-April 2020, referred to as the ‘early’ period, and the current survey period, referred to as the ‘later’ period. Results: One hundred and seventy-two oncology clinicians completed the survey. The majority of respondents were medical oncologists (n = 136, 79%) and many were from Europe (n = 82, 48%). In the ‘early’ period, 88% (n = 133) of clinicians reported altering their practice compared to 63% (n = 96) in the ‘later’ period. Compared to prior to the pandemic, clinicians reported fewer new patient presentations in the ‘early’ period and a trend towards more patients presenting with advanced disease in the ‘later’ period. Conclusions: Results indicate a swing back towards pre-COVID-19 practices despite an increase in the rate of cumulative COVID-19 cases across 2020. The impact of these changes on cancer associated morbidity and mortality remains to be measured over the months and years to come.
- service delivery