Research Alert: November 30, 2022
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Rural Health Clinics' Operations and Cancer Prevention and Control Efforts
This study surveyed a stratified random sample of Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) throughout the country to examine how the pandemic has affected their overall operations and provision of cancer prevention and control services.
- Roughly one in five of the more than 150 RHCs experienced a temporary closure due to the pandemic.
- Stressors related to finances, changes in clinical operations, provider/staff self-quarantine, and provider/staff burnout were experienced by more than two-thirds of RHCs surveyed.
- There was a significant rise in the percent of RHCs providing telehealth services during the pandemic. The pre-pandemic percentage was 23%, increasing to 92.2% during the pandemic.
- Cancer-related prevention and control services including cancer screening, HPV vaccination, and tobacco cessation services dropped pre- vs. peri-pandemic.
Whitney E. Zahnd, PhD
RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis