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Coping with cancer treatment-related financial burden.
Background: Growing evidence suggests that financial distress is a side effect of cancer care needing attention. Little is known about how patients cope with treatment-related financial distress. This study describes how patients with cancer cope with treatment-related costs and identifies those at greatest risk for using potentially harmful cost-coping strategies. Methods: Eligible patients for this cross-sectional, survey study were adults being treated for solid malignancies enrolled June 2010 to May 2011 in a national copay assistance program. Coping strategies were grouped as lifestyle-altering or care-altering. Descriptive statistics and analysis of variance assessed coping strategies and relationships between covariates. Results: Among 174 participants, 89% used at least one lifestyle-altering strategy to cope with costs, while 39% used a care-altering strategy. Most common care-altering coping strategies included: not filling a prescription (28%); and taking less medication than prescribed (23%). Lifestyle-altering strategies included: spending less on leisure activities (77%); spending less on basics (57%); borrowing money (54%); and spending savings (50%). The mean number of coping strategies was higher for patients < 65 than for those ≥ 65 (Table). Lower-income patients used more care-altering strategies than higher-income patients. Patients with more education and shorter duration of chemotherapy adopted more lifestyle-altering strategies than their counterparts. Conclusions: Patients were generally more likely to use lifestyle-altering approaches to cope with treatment-related financial burden, but more than one-third adopted care-altering strategies. Younger patients and those with lower incomes were more likely to alter their care. Screening for and anticipating potentially harmful cost-coping behavior in the oncology clinic is important to reduce patient distress and promote optimal care.
|Mean number of coping strategies|
|Care-altering - mean||P||Lifestyle-altering - mean||P|
|≤ High school||0.6||0.14||2.7||0.02|
|> High school||0.8||3.4|
|≥ 1 year||0.6||0.30||2.8||0.04|
|< 1 year||0.8||3.5|
Abstracts by Ryan David Nipp:
Impact of health care costs on utilization of needed health care in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS).Meeting: 2016 Cancer Survivorship Symposium | Abstract No: 20
- Meeting: 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting | Abstract No: 9514
- Meeting: 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting | Abstract No: 6501