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The impact of COVID-19 on oncology professionals: results of the ESMO Resilience Task Force survey collaboration

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  • ESMO Collaboration
Article number100058
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/04/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>ESMO Open
Issue number2
Number of pages10
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date4/02/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on well-being has the potential for serious negative consequences on work, home life, and patient care. The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Resilience Task Force collaboration set out to investigate well-being in oncology over time since COVID-19. Methods Two online anonymous surveys were conducted (survey I: April/May 2020; survey II: July/August 2020). Statistical analyses were performed to examine group differences, associations, and predictors of key outcomes: (i) well-being/distress [expanded Well-being Index (eWBI; 9 items)]; (ii) burnout (1 item from eWBI); (iii) job performance since COVID-19 (JP-CV; 2 items). Results Responses from survey I (1520 participants from 101 countries) indicate that COVID-19 is impacting oncology professionals; in particular, 25% of participants indicated being at risk of distress (poor well-being, eWBI ≥ 4), 38% reported feeling burnout, and 66% reported not being able to perform their job compared with the pre-COVID-19 period. Higher JP-CV was associated with better well-being and not feeling burnout (P < 0.01). Differences were seen in well-being and JP-CV between countries (P < 0.001) and were related to country COVID-19 crude mortality rate (P < 0.05). Consistent predictors of well-being, burnout, and JP-CV were psychological resilience and changes to work hours. In survey II, among 272 participants who completed both surveys, while JP-CV improved (38% versus 54%, P < 0.001), eWBI scores ≥4 and burnout rates were significantly higher compared with survey I (22% versus 31%, P = 0.01; and 35% versus 49%, P = 0.001, respectively), suggesting well-being and burnout have worsened over a 3-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusion In the first and largest global survey series, COVID-19 is impacting well-being and job performance of oncology professionals. JP-CV has improved but risk of distress and burnout has increased over time. Urgent measures to address well-being and improve resilience are essential.