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Endorsement of COVID-19 related misinformation among cancer survivors

Authors
  • Guidry, Jeanine P.D.1
  • Carlyle, Kellie E.2
  • Miller, Carrie A.2
  • Ksinan, Albert J.3
  • Winn, Robert4
  • Sheppard, Vanessa B.5
  • Fuemmeler, Bernard F.5
  • 1 Robertson School of Media and Culture, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
  • 2 Department of Health Behavior and Policy, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA, USA
  • 3 Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 4 Massey Cancer Center and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA, USA
  • 5 Department of Health Behavior and Policy, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, and Massey Cancer Center, Richmond, VA, USA
Type
Published Article
Journal
Patient education and counseling
Publication Date
May 21, 2021
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2021.05.026
PMID: 34030928
PMCID: PMC8139169
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Short Communication
License
Unknown

Abstract

Objectives To determine whether cancer survivors currently in treatment are more or less likely to endorse COVID-19 related misinformation compared to their counterparts no longer in treatment and those without a cancer history. Methods We conducted a Qualtrics survey among 897 adults to determine differences in endorsement of COVID-19 misinformation among cancer survivors in active treatment, cancer survivors no longer in treatment, and a control group with no cancer history. Results Cancer survivors currently undergoing treatment were more likely to believe misinformation related to COVID-19 than those without a cancer history. Least likely to endorse COVID-19 misinformation were cancer survivor no longer in treatment. Conclusion These results alert healthcare professionals to overall high levels of endorsement of COVID-19 misinformation among cancer survivors on active treatment. Oncologists and other providers working with patients undergoing treatment for cancer should be particularly mindful of the potential elevated beliefs in misinformation among this group. Practical implications Since patients undergoing cancer treatment seem to be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 misinformation, oncologists and other healthcare providers working with this patient population should help address patients’ concerns about the pandemic and how it relates to their course of treatment.

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