Taskforce oncology HCP survey

Since the COVID-19 outbreak was first reported in December 2019, health care providers (HCP) have been faced with a number of challenges, many largely unprecedented. Some of these challenges create stressors by directly threatening the provision of high-quality care. Some of these stressors include patient case presentations exceeding capacity of available resources, inability to provide usual standards of care, or caring for patients who are isolated from their loved-ones. Additional challenges relating to other work-life considerations include long shift hours, fears of acquired infection  coupled with a lack of sufficient personal protective equipment or uncertainty about how to quantify personal health risks), case fatality rates that exceed those typical of influenza, rapidly evolving public and work-specific policies. Still, other sources of stress include those not directly related to the workplace, such as providing adequate child care when schools are closed, lack of activities outside the home, social isolation, among others.

HCP caring for cancer patients face a number of unique challenges. While HCP in oncology have traditionally accepted the potential stressors related to caring for patients with malignant disease, there is now an addition of pandemic-related concerns. These include the potential for rationing treatments owing to lack of resources (e.g. reduced operating room time, drug shortages, staff shortages) or balancing the risks of COVID-19 infection against the benefits of cancer therapies that might compromise patient immunity or cause illness due to exposure to the hospital environment.

In this project we wish to quantify and describe these stressors in HCP during the pandemic using an initial cross-sectional approach, and to describe changes over time using longitudinal assessments.


Study Objectives

  • 2.1. To describe the impact of COVID-19 on oncology health care providers’ self reported perceived stress levels, resilience, and perceived moral distress.
  • 2.2. To compare these findings intra-institutionally between different HCP groups (e.g., nurses vs physicians; ambulatory vs in-patient care)
  • 2.3. To compare these findings between institutions in U.K. (London) and Canada (Kingston)
  • 2.4. To repeat these measures longitudinally to describe these mental wellness dimensions over time as the COVID environment evolves.


We welcome new partners. Materials for the HCW COVID19 stress and resilience study are available via: Christopher.Booth@kingstonhsc.ca

  • If you would like to use this survey at your own centre you will need to get local IRB approval. The project is set up so that your team will collect/analyse the data locally. i.e. you will retain your own local data for analysis/interpretation/write-up etc
  • We hope these data are helpful to you and the health system leaders at your centre. We encourage you to publish your data. There may be opportunities to be involved in comparative analyses across different countries/centres.
  • The survey at King’s and Queen’s will be distributed using RedCap software. You can use this tool for your own study if your institution has a RedCap license. If you would like more information on the RedCap process please contact: matt.jalink@queensu.ca


Steering Group

Mike Brundage (Prof of Oncology and Health Systems Researcher at Queen’s), Richard Sullivan King’s College London (UK) and Chris Booth Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada).


Taskforce working group

  • Nirmala Bhoo Pathy, Malaysia
  • Aasim Yusuf, Pakistan
  • Omar Shamieh, Jordan
  • Raul Murillo, Colombia
  • Temidayo Fadelu, Rwanda/Boston
  • Natalie Taylor, Australia
  • Tomohiro Matsuda, Japan