The financial impact and consequences of cancer on the lives of survivors remain poorly understood.
This is especially true for colorectal cancer.
Dr Linda Sharp and colleagues investigated objective cancer-related financial stress, subjective cancer-related financial strain, and their association with health-related quality of life in colorectal cancer survivors.
The researchers performed a cross-sectional postal survey in Ireland, which has a mixed public–private healthcare system.
Colorectal cancer survivors, diagnosed 6 to 37 months prior, were identified from the population-based National Cancer Registry.
The team assessed cancer-related financial stress as impact of cancer on household ability to make ends meet and cancer-related financial strain by feelings about household financial situation since cancer diagnosis.
|41% reported cancer-related financial stress|
|Diseases of the Colon & Rectum|
Health-related quality of life was based on European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 global health status.
Logistic regression was used to identify associations between financial stress and strain and low health-related quality of life.
A total of 493 survivors participated.
Overall, the team found that 41% reported cancer-related financial stress and 39% cancer-related financial strain.
There were 32% that reported both financial stress and financial strain.
After adjustment for sociodemographic and clinical variables, the odds of low health-related quality of life were significantly higher in those who reported cancer-related financial stress postdiagnosis compared with those who reported no change in financial stress postcancer.
The team noted that odds of low health-related quality of life were also significantly higher in those with worse financial strain postdiagnosis.
The odds ratio for those with both cancer-related financial stress and financial strain was 2.6.
Dr Sharp's team commented, "Four in 10 colorectal cancer survivors reported an adverse financial impact of cancer."
"Cancer-related financial stress and strain were significantly associated with low health-related quality of life."
"To inform support strategies, additional research is needed to better understand how both objective and subjective financial distress influence survivors’ health-related quality of life."