Association of Financial Burden With Self-Rated and Mental Health in Older Adults With Cancer

Jones, S. M. W., Nguyen, T., Chennupati, S.

Objective: Financial problems in cancer survivors are associated with distress and reduced quality of life. Most studies have been cross-sectional, and a longitudinal study is needed to guide clinical interventions. Method: We used data from two surveys of the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS). Participants (n = 307) reported whether they experienced six indicators of financial burden. The Patient Health Questionnaire 4 assessed depressive symptoms and general anxiety. Cross-lagged panel analyses assessed whether financial burden predicted distress and health or vice versa. Results: In the total sample, financial burden at the first survey predicted depressive symptoms (p < .01), general anxiety (p < .01), and self-rated health (p < .01) at the second survey. Depressive symptoms, general anxiety, and self-rated health at the first survey did not predict later financial burden (ps > .05). Discussion: Results suggest financial problems predict later distress and poor health. This study highlights the need to address financial burden in cancer survivors.

Health Condition(s): Cancer
Year Published: 2020
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