The Mental Health Status of Inpatients with Newly Diagnosed Hematological Cancer during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparison Study
Keywords:hematological malignancy, psychological impact, SARS-CoV-2, pandemic, depression, resilience
Objective: This study is intended to evaluate the mental health statuses of hematological cancer (HC) inpatients diagnosed during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the statuses of patients diagnosed with HC before the pandemic.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey collected the mental health measurements of 77 inpatients with HC between March and May 2021 in Ankara, Turkey. The levels of depression, generalized anxiety, distress, sleep disorder, health anxiety, trait anxiety, corona phobia, and resilience in HC patients newly diagnosed during the pandemic (n=38) and before the pandemic (n=39) were compared. We then explored the relationships between predictive factors and cancer patients’ mental health statuses.
Results: Compared to HC patients diagnosed before the pandemic, depression (63.2% vs. 35.9%, p=0.017) and sleep disorder (67.8% vs. 38.5, p=0.016) were significantly higher, while comparison, generalized anxiety (57.9% vs. 38.5%, p=0.088) and distress (60.5% vs. 38.5%, p=0.053) were higher in a non-significant trend in patients newly diagnosed with HC during the pandemic. In contrast, health anxiety was more common in patients diagnosed before the pandemic (53.8% vs. 31.6%, p=0.048). Among the newly diagnosed patients, women had more generalized anxiety symptoms than men (76.5% vs. 42.9%, p=0.037). Being newly diagnosed increased the risk of more severe symptoms of depression (odds ratio [OR]: 3.178, p=0.036) and sleep disorders (OR: 4.73, p=0.018) but lowered the risk of health anxiety (OR: 0.14, p=0.003).
Conclusion: Our data indicate that patients with HC are vulnerable to mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. This vulnerability is higher in newly diagnosed HC patients than in patients diagnosed before the pandemic.