Adjusting to the new reality: Evaluation of early practice pattern adaptations to the COVID-19 pandemic

John Nakayama, Sherif A. El-Nashar, Steven Waggoner, Bryan Traughber, Joshua Kesterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective: We aim to define national practice patterns to assess current clinical practice, anticipated delays and areas of concern that potentially could lead to deviations from the normal standard of care. Methods: Anonymous surveys were emailed to members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO). The spread of COVID-19 and its impact on gynecologic oncology care in terms of alterations to normal treatment patterns and anticipated challenges were assessed. The Wilcoxon rank sum test was performed to determine risk factors for COVID-19 infection. Results: We analyzed the responses of 331 gynecologic oncology providers. COVID-19 is present in 99.1% of surveyed communities with 99.7% reporting mitigation efforts in effect. The infection rate differs significantly between regions (p≪0.001) with the Northeast reporting the highest number of COVID-19 cases. Practice volume has dropped by 61.6% since the start of the pandemic with most cancellations being provider initiated. A majority of responders (52.8%) believed that ovarian cancer will be the most affected cancer by COVID-19. >94% of responders are proceeding with gynecologic cancer surgeries with exception of grade 1, endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinoma (36.3%). Surgical backlog (58.6%), delayed cancer diagnosis (43.2%) and re-establishing normal care with delayed patient (37.8%) were identified as the top 3 challenges after COVID-19 has abated. Conclusions: COVID-19 is widespread and has radically altered normal practice patterns. Despite COVID-19 related concerns, most gynecologic oncology care is proceeding. However, the steep decline in clinical volume shows there is a large group of patients who are not being diagnosed or are deferring care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-261
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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