Volume 36, Issue 142 (June-In-Press 2023)                   IJN 2023, 36(142): 0-0 | Back to browse issues page

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Bastani F, Esmaili S, Zandifar A, Haghani H. A study of Fear of Covid-19 among Elderly with Newly diagnosed Cancer in Hospitals of Alborz University of Medical Sciences, 2021: A longitudinal Panel study. IJN 2023; 36 (142)
URL: http://ijn.iums.ac.ir/article-1-3547-en.html
1- . Department of Community Health Nursing and Geriatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran , Bastani.f@iums.ac.ir
2- School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3- Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
4- Biostatistics Dept., School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (109 Views)
Background and Aim: With the outbreak of Covid-19, a wave of fear and anxiety has emerged in the community. The elderly as a vulnerable group are not free from this fear and anxiety. This condition can also affect the health of the elderly. In addition, elderly is associated with life-threatening factors such as cancer, especially in the early stages of cancer diagnosis, which can double the stress and psychological complications. Therefore, health interventions and scientific evidence-based support require the assessment and monitoring of Covid-19-related psychological disorders over time. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the trend of fear of Covid 19 in the elderly with newly diagnosed cancer in the educational and medical centers of Alborz University of Medical Sciences in 2021: a longitudinal panel study.

Method: This research is a longitudinal panel study. The sample size was 174 people. Available sampling method among all elderly patients with cancer hospitalized and referred to chemotherapy and oncology wards of selected educational centers of Alborz University of Medical Sciences (Shahid Rajaei Educational Center, Imam Ali Educational Center and Kosar Hospital) who They met the inclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria 60 years of age and older, the elderly with any type of cancer according to the doctor's diagnosis in the newly diagnosed doctor's file, no cognitive impairment (score 7 out of 10 AMT test), no mental illness and no psychedelic medication according to Family caregiver reports or medical records were able to communicate. Due to the covid-19 conditions in the community, non-hospitalization of patients and outpatient care and as a result of lack of face-to-face access to the elderly with cancer, the existence of restrictions and reduced travel of the elderly, the questionnaires were completed by telephone. After referring to the educational and medical centers of Alborz University of Medical Sciences and reviewing the medical records of patients and selecting research samples, the samples were contacted. Demographic information, short cognitive test (AMT) and 7-item Covid-19 Fear Questionnaire were used to collect data. This study was longitudinal and the questionnaires were completed in three time periods at the beginning of cancer diagnosis and treatment, one month later and two months later. Completion of the questionnaires took 3 to 4 months, from the first of August 2021 to the end of November 2021. After collecting the questionnaires and coding, the scores related to the questionnaire were calculated in different time periods and analyzed using SPSS software version 22.
Results:  The mean age of the elderly was 66.85 with a standard deviation of 5.86 years and 54.1% were female and 45.9% were male. Undergraduate education had the highest frequency with 67.5%. 77.7% of the elderly surveyed were married, 42.9% were housewives, 40.1% were retired, 52.2% said they lived with their spouse and the majority (71.3%) considered their income insufficient. Breast cancer with 32.5% and then colon cancer with 19.7% was the most common type of cancer diagnosed among the elderly. Fear of Covid-19 in the elderly with cancer at the beginning of diagnosis was moderate with a mean score of 17.69 with a standard deviation of 4.74. Covid-19 fear score in the second stage (one month later) was 14.26 with a standard deviation of 4.09 and in the third stage (two months after diagnosis) was 11.81 with a standard deviation of 4.13. The results of repeated measures analysis of variance showed that fear of Covid-19 two months after diagnosis was significantly less than one month later (p <0.001) and also at diagnosis (p <0.001). The mean fear score of Covid-19 obtained in the following month was also significantly lower than at diagnosis (p <0.001). Fear of Covid 19 at the beginning of diagnosis had a statistically significant relationship with marital status (p = 0.049), underlying disease (p = 0.014) and the elderly's perception of their health (p = 0.004). Fear of Covid was higher in the divorced elderly or the deceased spouse (alone) as well as in the elderly with the underlying disease. Fear of Covid 19 had a statistically significant correlation with elderly perceptions of health. In other words, as the elderly increase their perception of their health, the fear of Covid-19 decreases.
Conclusion: In this study, fear of Covid-19 was observed in the elderly with newly diagnosed cancer at the median level at the beginning of diagnosis, but one month and two months after the initial diagnosis, there was a declining trend in the fear of Covid-19 in the studied elderly was observed. Fear of Covid-19 was statistically significantly associated with variables such as marital status, underlying disease, and perception of health. Any stress and anxiety, such as fear of Covid-19, can potentially disrupt the treatment and chemotherapy sessions in the elderly with cancer. Policies and planning should address the fear of epidemics to help improve people's mental health. The results of this study can be significantly helpful in recognizing the psychological status and needs of the elderly with cancer, especially the elderly, involved in several chronic diseases and low health perception of their condition over time. Therefore, it is suggested that in addition to more extensive research, interventions related to counseling sessions to promote mental health, the elderly with cancer, mainly at the same time at the time of diagnosis of the disease, which is more fear and anxiety than ever before to be planned and implemented. . The results of this study can be used to plan counseling sessions when patients are exposed to cancer.

Type of Study: Research | Subject: nursing
Received: 2022/02/24 | Accepted: 2023/06/22 | Published: 2023/06/22

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