Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Web-Based Survey of Thyroid Cancer Survivors

Claire E. Graves, Neha Goyal, Anna Levin, Miriam A. Nuño, Jina Kim, Michael J. Campbell, Wen T. Shen, Jessica E. Gosnell, Sanziana A. Roman, Julie A. Sosa, Quan Yang Duh, Insoo Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Cancer patients and survivors may be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. We sought to determine the effects of the pandemic on thyroid cancer survivors’ health care interactions and quality of life. Methods: An anonymous survey including questions about COVID-19 and the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System profile (PROMIS-29, version 2.0) was hosted on the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc website. PROMIS scores were compared to previously published data. Factors associated with greater anxiety were evaluated with univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Results: From May 6, 2020, to October 8, 2020, 413 participants consented to take the survey; 378 (92%) met the inclusion criteria: diagnosed with thyroid cancer or noninvasive follicular neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features, located within the United States, and completed all sections of the survey. The mean age was 53 years, 89% were women, and 74% had papillary thyroid cancer. Most respondents agreed/strongly agreed (83%) that their lives were very different during the COVID-19 pandemic, as were their interactions with doctors (79%). A minority (43%) were satisfied with the information from their doctor regarding COVID-19 changes. Compared to pre-COVID-19, PROMIS scores were higher for anxiety (57.8 vs 56.5; P < .05) and lower for the ability to participate in social activities (46.2 vs 48.1; P < .01), fatigue (55.8 vs 57.9; P < .01), and sleep disturbance (54.7 vs 56.1; P < .01). After adjusting for confounders, higher anxiety was associated with younger age (P < .01) and change in treatment plan (P = .04). Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, thyroid cancer survivors reported increased anxiety compared to a pre-COVID cohort. To deliver comprehensive care, providers must better understand patient concerns and improve communication about potential changes to treatment plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEndocrine Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • physician communication
  • quality of life
  • telehealth
  • thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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