Experiences of Social Isolation during the COVID-19 Lockdown among Adolescents and Young Adult Cancer Patients and Survivors

Signe Hanghøj*, Nina Pappot, Maiken Hjerming, Gry Assam Taarnhøj, Kirsten A. Boisen, Helle Pappot

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde
18 Citationer (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic affecting populations by massive lockdowns, including strict precautions and quarantines. Research on the lives of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic is highly relevant to meet potential challenges regarding their physical and mental well-being. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate how AYA cancer patients and survivors experience social isolation during the COVID-19 lockdown. Methods: Individual semistructured telephone interviews were performed with 13 AYA cancer patients and survivors aged 18-29 years. All participants were users of Kræftværket, a youth support center and social organization for AYAs with cancer at The University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Denmark. Data were analyzed by using thematic analysis. Results: The following themes were found. The need for giving and receiving support, Difficulty of the community spirit, The lockdown's effect on recovery, Disrupted youth, and Being alone. Conclusion: The participants in this study experienced loneliness, anxiety, lack of psychosocial support, and lack of physical contact. In addition, lack of rehabilitation and lack of support during hospital visits, which may specifically influence the disease trajectory, were reported. Thus, health care professionals have an important task to follow up on the AYA's well-being during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. A positive side effect of the lockdown period was the experience of getting a respite to recover physically and mentally after cancer.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology
Vol/bind10
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)142-147
Antal sider6
ISSN2156-5333
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1 apr. 2021

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