Res Sq. 2020 Sep 1:rs.3.rs-66218. doi: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-66218/v1. Preprint.
Background Cancer patients are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, partially owing to their compromised immune systems and curbed or cut cancer healthcare services caused by the pandemic. As a result, cancer caregivers may have to shoulder triple crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, pronounced healthcare needs from the patient, and elevated need for care from within. While technology-based health interventions have the potential to address unique challenges cancer caregivers face amid COVID-19, limited insights are available. Thus, to bridge this gap, we aim to identify technology-based interventions designed for cancer caregivers and report the characteristics and effects of these interventions concerning the distinctive challenges cancer caregivers face amid COVID-19. Additionally, this paper will present practical insights into the diverse intervention approaches that can assist in the delivery of digital health solutions for cancer caregivers amid and beyond COVID-19. Methods A systematic review of the literature will be conducted in PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Scopus in September, 2020. Articles that center on technology-based interventions for cancer caregivers will be included in the review. The search strategy was developed in consultation with an academic librarian who is experienced in systematic review studies. Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles will be screened against eligibility criteria developed a priori . The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses procedures will be followed for the reporting process. Results NA-This is a protocol study. Conclusions COVID-19 has uprooted cancer care as we know it. Due to barriers introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as medical resources rationing, cancer caregivers often have to step up to address patients’ healthcare needs and wants. This, in turn, will exert substantial stress on informal caregivers, above and beyond COVID-19-related burdens the general public shoulders on a daily basis. Findings of this study can shed light on evidence-based and practical solutions cancer caregivers can utilize to mitigate the unique challenges they face amid COVID-19. Furthermore, results of this study will also offer valuable insights for researchers who aim to develop interventions for cancer caregivers in the context of COVID-19. In addition, we also expect to be able to identify areas for improvement that need to be addressed in order for health experts to more adequately help cancer caregivers weather the storm of global health crises like COVID-19 and beyond. Study Protocol Registration: PROSPERO CRD42020196301.