PURPOSE After coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the WHO, a response from the Italian Health System to react to an unprecedented condition became necessary and sudden. The COVID-19 pandemic has required oncologists to redefine clinical organization and patient management. The purpose of our study was to document the difficulties emerging during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Italian oncology. METHODS We broadcasted an electronic survey to oncologic health care professionals. It consisted of 45 questions ranging from individual perception of pandemic management by hospital centers to physicians’ and nurses’ psychological distress and patient care. RESULTS A total of 383 oncology health workers participated in the survey. The majority were female (71.8%) and from central Italy (46.2%). Impressively, a total of 357 (93%) participants declared the oncologic department reorganized routine clinical activity, but only 40.5% were adequately trained about the required procedures; 20% of the survey respondents think they have not received adequate and timely protective devices. CONCLUSION Our survey demonstrated the flexibility of oncologic teams. However, the emergency response quality has been heterogeneous, and several drawbacks have emerged from the first analyses investigating how the world of oncology changes in the COVID-19 pandemic. Information, protection, testing, and training of health care professionals are key words that should be kept in mind to encourage recovery after this tragedy and to be ready to face a similar emergency in the future.
Scientia Potentia Est: How the Italian World of Oncology Changes in the COVID-19 Pandemic / Ballatore, Z.; Bastianelli, L.; Merloni, F.; Ranallo, N.; Cantini, L.; Marcantognini, G.; Berardi, R.. - In: JCO GLOBAL ONCOLOGY. - ISSN 2687-8941. - 6:6(2020), pp. 1017-1023. [10.1200/GO.20.00209]