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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID-19) pandemic and associated restrictions have altered the delivery of surgical care. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of COVID-19 on care delivery and quality of life (QOL) from the perspectives of lung cancer surgery patients, family caregivers (FCGs), and thoracic surgery teams.


Patients/FCGs enrolled in a randomized trial of a self-management intervention for lung cancer surgery preparation/recovery were invited to participate in this qualitative study. Patients/FCGs data were collected separately 1-month postdischarge. Interviews were also conducted with thoracic surgery team members. Content analysis approaches were used to develop themes.


Forty-one respondents including 19 patients, 18 FCGs, three thoracic surgeons, and one nurse practitioner participated in the study. Patient themes included isolation, psychological distress, delayed/impacted care, and financial impact. FCGs themes included caregiving challenges, worry about COVID-19, financial hardship, isolation, and physical activity limitations. Surgical team themes included witnessing patient/FCG's distress, challenges with telehealth, communication/educational challenges, and delays in treatment.


COVID-19 had a varied impact on care delivery and QOL for lung cancer surgery dyads. Some dyads reported minimal impact, while others experienced added psychological distress, isolation, and caregiving challenges. Surgical teams also experienced challenges in the approach used to provide care.


This article was originally published in Journal of Surgical Oncology in 2022.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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