The impacts of Covid-19 on cancer patients and survivors from a social and economic perspectives

Ms Amy Lawlor (Research Assistant, Department of Economics, Cork University Business School (CUBS), University College Cork (UCC)); Dr Frances Drummond (Research, Breakthrough Cancer Research); Dr Ann Kirby (Lecturer, Department of Economics, CUBS, UCC) and Dr Aileen Murphy (Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, CUBS UCC)

COVID-19 has been a major threat to cancer patients and survivors, owing to their weakened immune systems. As such they are at a greater risk of getting infections and of developing more severe infection symptoms compared to the general population. So they were advised to reduce their social contacts and cocoon. While this reduces the likelihood of coming into contact with COVID-19, there are side effects to such social isolation. Furthermore, these effects have not been equally felt amongst patients and survivors.

Researchers from the Department of Economics, Cork University Business School (CUBS) at University College Cork (UCC), in collaboration with Breakthrough Cancer Research, have been investigating the impacts of COVID-19 amongst cancer patients and survivors from an economic and social perspective. The research team, led by Dr Aileen Murphy (Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, Cork University Business School at University College Cork), examined internationally published studies and reports to investigate these impacts. Over 150 studies from over 30 individual countries were identified and analysed by the research team.


Murphy A, Lawlor A, Kirby A, Drummond FJ. A pragmatic dialogue amongst stakeholders on the impact of COVID-19 on Irish cancer patients and healthcare services and lessons learned. Support Care Cancer. 2023 Dec 13;32(1):19. doi: 10.1007/s00520-023-08227-y. PMID: 38091145.

Kirby A, Drummond FJ, Lawlor A, Murphy A. Counting the social, psychological, and economic costs of COVID-19 for cancer patients. Support Care Cancer. 2022 Nov;30(11):8705-8731. doi: 10.1007/s00520-022-07178-0. Epub 2022 Jun 11. PMID: 35690662; PMCID: PMC9188420.

Murphy A, Kirby A, Lawlor A, Drummond FJ, Heavin C. Mitigating the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Adult Cancer Patients through Telehealth Adoption: A Systematic Review. Sensors (Basel). 2022 May 9;22(9):3598. doi: 10.3390/s22093598. PMID: 35591287; PMCID: PMC9105995.

Start year
End year
Principal Investigator
Dr Aileen Murphy, Dr Frances Drummond
Grant type
MSD Oncology Policy Grant Program

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