TUESDAY, Jan. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Teens and young adults with cancer are experiencing high psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Jan. 5 in Psycho-Oncology.

Camille Glidden, from University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, and colleagues investigated the prevalence of psychological distress, factors associated with distress, and experiences of adolescents and young adults (AYAs; 15 to 39 years) with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis included survey results from 805 participants.

The researchers found that more than two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) had high psychological distress. Higher distress was seen in those with employment impact during the pandemic (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.16) and hematologic malignancy (aOR, 1.76). Older age (aOR, 0.95) and personal income <$40,000 (aOR, 0.38) were associated with less distress. Compared with prepandemic survey results, the odds of experiencing psychological distress among AYAs with cancer was higher during the pandemic (aOR, 1.85). Inferior quality of life, impairment of cancer care, COVID-19-related concerns, and extreme social isolation were the common themes of the pandemic experience.

“Distress screening and evidence-based interventions to alleviate distress are essential,” the authors write.

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