Vol 16, No 4 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2022-09-01

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Quality of life of palliative care cancer patients during COVID-19 lockdown phase

Shreya Das Adhikari1, Anuja Pandit2, Bhawesh Pangaria3, Sushma Bhatnagar3
Palliat Med Pract 2022;16(4):212-219.


Background: Coronavirus pandemic in 2019 led India to implement a complete lockdown except foressential services. Cancer patients faced hindrances in seeking medical help. This caused stress and worry,leading to reduced quality of life (QoL). This study evaluated QoL and pain management in palliativecare cancer patients during the lockdown.

Patients and methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study at a tertiary cancer hospital,over one month period with convenience sampling. Participants included all who were unable to visitthe palliative outpatient department during the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. They werecontacted telephonically and a valid QoL questionnaire was filled out. Disease, demographic details andpain were assessed.

Results: A total of 51 were interviewed, 45% (n = 23) patients reported difficult access to medicationduring the lockdown; 18 (35.3%) required morphine to alleviate pain and 6 (33.33%) faced difficulty inacquiring morphine tablets. QoL scores did not differ based on access to morphine (p = 0.648). MeanQoL scores were 12.7 ± 3.76 and 15.0 ± 3.60 amongst patients who did not have access to othermedications and those who did have access, respectively (p = 0.03). Overall QoL FACT G7 mean scorewas 14 ± 3.8. The variables NRS (pain intensity) and QoL scores were found to be negatively correlated(Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient: r (49) = −0.69, p < 0.00001).

Conclusions: Evaluation of QoL of palliative care cancer patients during global crises plays an importantrole in the assessment of patients’ overall condition as well as to maintain a continuum of care.

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