Technology-based health solutions for cancer caregivers to better shoulder the impact of COVID-19: a systematic review protocol

Zhaohui Su, Dean McDonnell, Bin Liang, Jennifer Kue, Xiaoshan Li, Sabina Šegalo, Shailesh Advani, Bertha E. Flores, Jing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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 cancer caregivers' distinctive challenges amid COVID-19. Methods: A systematic search of the literature will be conducted in PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Scopus from the database inception to the end of March 2021. Articles that center on technology-based interventions for cancer caregivers will be included in the review. The search strategy will be 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. Conclusions: COVID-19 has upended cancer care as we know it. 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. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42020196301

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Cancer caregivers
  • Cancer patients
  • Coronavirus
  • Digital health solutions
  • Systematic review protocol
  • Technology-based interventions
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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