Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register
Wiener 2021a

The impact of COVID-19 on the professional and personal lives of pediatric oncology social workers

  1. Study Type
  2. Observational
  1. Study Aim
  2. Other
  1. Study Design
  2. Cross-sectional
  1. Intervention Assignment
  2. Not Applicable

The impact of COVID-19 on the professional and personal lives of pediatric oncology social workers

Wiener L, Fry A, Pelletier W, Cincotta N, Jones B
Journal article
Report Results
PURPOSE: Describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work structure, daily care provided, personal lives, and practice models for pediatric oncology social workers (POSW). RESEARCH APPROACH: Cross-sectional online survey on APOSW professional listserv from 10/5/2020 to 11/20/2020. SAMPLE: 101 surveys were completed by POSW from 31 states and the District of Columbia. METHODS: Data were summarized descriptively and with semantic content analyses. FINDINGS: Surveys were completed by social workers from diverse work settings. Seventy-five percent of social workers were deemed "essential," and 45% reported working primarily from home. Most (56%) adopted a form of telehealth for patient care, although 71% did not receive telehealth training and 87% perceived lesser quality of care with telehealth. Nearly 80% of respondents reported not being able to provide optimum psychosocial care. Notable stressors on social work practice included worry about exposure to COVID-19, limited resources, lack of contact with and increased emotional needs of patients and families, managing patient and family concerns about COVID-19, and isolation from colleagues. Inequity and social justice issues were identified. Despite challenges, over 60% of POSW endorsed positive changes to their work life resulting from the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, POSW have adapted to a changing work environment, different modes of service provision, and stark health inequities to meet the needs of patients and families in a crisis. IMPLICATIONS FOR PSYCHOSOCIAL PROVIDERS: COVID-19 vastly impacted the personal and professional lives of POSW, warranting attentiveness to lessons learned and future directions