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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer research in 2020: A qualitative scoping review to inform mitigation strategies

Show simple item record Mukherji, Deborah 2022-12-19T11:48:21Z 2022-12-19T11:48:21Z 2021
dc.description.abstract Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on global health systems and economies. Effects on cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and have been highly disruptive and projected to have lasting negative effects on patient outcomes. With an expected reduction in funding available for cancer research as a direct result of the pandemic, re-examining research priorities with a focus on low- and middle-income countries has emerged as an urgent concern. As part of a project undertaking this work (REPRISE), we aimed to qualitatively examine the documented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cancer research field. Methods: A literature review was conducted with the aim of identifying non-peer-reviewed journalistic sources which documented the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the field of cancer research. A search was conducted on 12th January 2021 using the LexisNexis database and Google, using terms and filters to identify English-language news reports and blogs, containing references to both COVID-19 and cancer research. The targeted search returned 751 results, of which 215 articles met the inclusion criteria after screening by two independent reviewers. These 215 articles were subjected to a conventional qualitative content analysis, aiming to gain insight into the question: What were the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the field of cancer research, from March 2020 to January 2021? Results: The analysis yielded a high plurality of qualitatively documented impacts, from which seven categories of impacts emerged: 1) COVID measures halting cancer research activity entirely; 2) COVID measures limiting cancer research activity; 3) forced adaptation of research methods; 4) clinical harm wrought by the pandemic with implications for the cancer research field; 5) availability of funding; 6) disruption to the private sector; and 7) unavoidable delays and obstacles. Three further categories of consequences from these impacts also emerged: 1) potential changes to research practice; 2) delays to the progression of the field; and 3) potential new areas of research interest. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic had extensive practical and economic effects on the field of cancer research in 2020 that were highly plural in nature. Appraisal of cancer research strategies in a post-COVID world should acknowledge the diversity of the impacts of the pandemic in 2020. Such an understanding would consider economical, logistical, epidemiological, technological, research, psychosocial, gendered and regulatory factors.
dc.language.iso en
dc.title Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer research in 2020: A qualitative scoping review to inform mitigation strategies
dc.type Article

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