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Additional financial costs borne by cancer patients: A narrative review

Brooks, Joanna, Wilson, Kate and Amir, Ziv (2011) Additional financial costs borne by cancer patients: A narrative review. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 15 (4). pp. 302-310. ISSN 1462-3889

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Purpose: To review out-of-pocket costs related to cancer that are borne by patients and their families.
Methods: A literature search using key terms relating to out-of-pocket costs incurred by cancer patients and their families was undertaken to generate a comprehensive narrative synthesis of the information available.
Results: Four themes were identified: measuring costs; sources of costs; the impact of costs and reducing costs. The wide variety of measures for ascertaining hidden costs makes comparison of findings difficult; some articles cover a very narrow range of costs. Qualitative research is useful for elucidating a wide range of costs. Costs pertaining to hospital visits, nutrition and clothing are widely mentioned. Low additional expenditure may indicate that needs/wants are going unmet. Financial capacity to cope and
subjective perception of impact are important. Low income, younger age, chemotherapy and living
rurally are associated with greater impact. Extra expense can exert long-term effects on family finances. Primary care follow-up, telemedicine and treatments that entail fewer visits may serve to reduce patient costs.
Conclusions: The key question is how to organise/deliver cancer care in order to reduce additional expenses to patients and families. Future research could identify critical time-points and demographic groups susceptible to significant additional costs, in order to target support at those most in need.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Psychological Research
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Depositing User: Joanna Brooks
Date Deposited: 11 May 2011 13:25
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2015 01:28


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