Department of Dermatology and Phlebology, Vivantes Klinikum im Friedrichshain, Landsberger Allee 49, 10249 Berlin, Germany
Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Social and Preventive Medicine, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Ludolf-Krehl-Str. 7-11, 68167 Mannheim, Germany
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, University Medical Center Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany
Dermatologie Spandau, Moritzstr. 1, 13597 Berlin, Germany
Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Vivantes Klinikum Spandau, Neue Bergstr. 6, 13585 Berlin, Germany
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Vivantes Klinikum Neukölln, Rudower Str. 48, 12351 Berlin, Germany
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic imposes major challenges for care of cancer patients. Objectives: Our aim was to assess the effects of the pandemic on treatment and appointments of patients with malignant melanoma based on a large skin cancer centre in Berlin, Germany, and identify reasons for, and impact factors associated with these changes. Materials & Methods: Patients with melanoma treated from January 1st 2019 received a postal survey with questions on impairment due to the pandemic, fear of COVID-19, fear of melanoma, changes in therapy and/or appointments, including reasons for the changes. Impact factors on postponed/missed appointments were examined using descriptive analyses and multivariate logistic regression. Results: The response rate was 41.3% (n = 324; 57.4% males; mean age: 67.9 years). Among 104 participants currently receiving therapy, four (3.8%) reported treatment changes due to the pandemic. Postponements or cancellations of appointments occurred in 48 participants (14.8%), most frequently, at their own request (81.3%) due to fear of SARS-CoV-2 infection (68.8%). Current treatment was associated with a reduced chance of postponing/missing appointments (OR = 0.208, p = 0.003), whereas a high or very high level of concern for COVID-19 (OR = 6.806, p = 0.034; OR = 10.097, p = 0.038), SARS-CoV-2 infection among close acquaintances (OR = 4.251, p = 0.026), anxiety disorder (OR = 5.465, p = 0.016) and AJCC stage IV (OR = 3.108, p = 0.048) were associated with a higher likelihood of postponing/missing appointments. Conclusion: Among our participants, treatment changes were rare and the proportion of missed/delayed appointments was rather small. The main reasons for delays/cancellations of appointments were anxiety and concern for COVID-19.