International Journal of Hematology and Oncology 2021, Vol 31, Num 3 Page(s): 161-169
Anxiety, Insomnia and Pandemic Awareness of Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy During the COVID-19 Pandemic Period

Selin AKTURK ESEN1, Yusuf ACIKGOZ1, Mustafa YILDIRIM1, Gokhan UCAR1, Yakup ERGUN1, Merve DIRIKOC1, Oznur BAL1, Efnan ALGIN1, Irfan ESEN2, Dogan UNCU1

1Health Science University Ankara City Hospital, Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara, TURKEY
2Yenimahalle Training and Research Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Ankara, TURKEY

Keywords: Anxiety, Insomnia, Cancer, Chemotherapy, COVID-19 awareness
The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic caused a global public health problem. In this article, anxiety and insomnia rates of cancer patients who received chemotherapy during COVID-19 outbreak period were determined. In addition, patients’ information and opinions about COVID-19 were discussed. The study included 218 cancer patients who apply to outpatient chemotherapy clinic between May-June 2020, aged 18 and over, who were receiving chemotherapy. Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Insomnia Severity Index questionnaire forms were given to fill the patients to evaluate their anxiety and insomnia levels. We also prepared 12 additional questions about the knowledge and perceptions of COVID-19. Seventy eight (35.8%) patients had anxiety and 106 (48.6%) had insomnia. The rate of whole patients with severe anxiety was 1.8% and with severe insomnia was 2.8%. There was a statistically significant relationship between tumor localization and anxiety (p=0.006). Anxiety scores also increased with the increase in insomnia scores (p< 0.001). Eighty three percent of our patients wore face masks in any environment where they were in contact with people, and 84.9% believed in the protection of the face mask. To the authors’knowledge, this is the first study to examine the anxiety and insomnia rates of the cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in COVID-19 pandemic. The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic process can further increase anxiety and insomnia rates. Patients should be evaluated psychosocially both in the pandemic process and after. Correcting these misperception should be targe-ted in information campaigns, information by clinicians to their patients, and media coverage.