Perceptions of COVID-19 and Health

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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to drastic public health measures throughout the United States. While the duration and magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic are still subject to speculation, it is clear that COVID-19 will have wide-ranging consequences for people’s well-being on multiple levels. 

Individuals who are undergoing treatment for cancer and cancer survivors are likely more drastically affected by the pandemic than the general population. As of Jan. 1, 2019, an estimated 16.9 million cancer survivors were living in the U.S., with more than 1.8 million new cancer cases expected in 2020. 

Led by Rachel Vogel, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health, this study will aim to understand how individuals with cancer are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the general population.

Researchers will:

  • Compare the emotional wellbeing, decision-making and health concerns related to COVID-19 between cancer patients currently undergoing therapy and three comparison groups: cancer survivors not currently undergoing treatment, other individuals considered “high risk” for serious illness from COVID-19, and the general population
  • Describe rates of cancer treatment changes and disruption and associations between these changes and emotional health and COVID-19 concerns.

Researchers will conduct an ongoing social media campaign to invite American adults 18 years of age or older to complete a 10-15 minute anonymous online survey about their health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 health crisis. 

“The survey will include numerous measures to ascertain information about general health, emotional health, resilience, sources of health information, concerns about COVID-19, health and cancer history, and demographic characteristics,” said Vogel. “We will obtain a series of cross-sectional datasets to observe how these measures change over time in different individuals.”

This project is supported by the UMN Campus Public Health Officer's CO:VID (Collaborative Outcomes: Visionary Innovation & Discovery) grants program, which support University of Minnesota faculty to catalyze and energize small-scale research projects designed to address and mitigate the COVID-19 virus and its associated risks.