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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between self-reported distress (anxiety/depression) and satisfaction with and desire for virtual follow-up (VFU) care among cancer patients during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Breast and prostate cancer patients receiving VFU at an urban cancer centre in Toronto, Canada completed an online survey on their sociodemographic, clinical, and technology, characteristics and experience with and views on VFU. EQ5D-5 L was used to assess distress. Statistical models adjusted for age, gender, education, income and Internet confidence. RESULTS: Of 352 participants, average age was 65 years, 48% were women,79% were within 5 years of treatment completion, 84% had college/university education and 74% were confident Internet users. Nearly, all (98%) had a virtual visit via phone and 22% had a virtual visit via video. The majority of patients (86%) were satisfied with VFU and 70% agreed that they would like VFU options after the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants who reported distress and who were not confident using the Internet for health purposes were significantly less likely to be satisfied with VFU (OR = 0.4; 95% CI: 0.2-0.8 and OR = 0.19; 95% CI: 0.09-0.38, respectively) and were less likely to desire VFU option after the COVID-19 pandemic (OR = 0.49; 95% CI: 0.30-0.82 and OR = 0.41; 95% CI: 0.23-0.70, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The majority of respondents were satisfied with VFU and would like VFU options after the COVID-19 pandemic. Future research should determine how to optimize VFU options for cancer patients who are distressed and who are less confident using virtual care technology.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer medicine

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