Perceived Financial Insecurity Impacts Healthcare Decision-Making Among Patients With Sinusitis

Pandrangi, V. C., Farrell, N. F., Mace, J. C., Detwiller, K. Y., Smith, T. L., Geltzeiler, M.

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: The economic burden of sinusitis is significant, and socioeconomic factors can impact patient decision-making. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of perceived financial insecurity on healthcare decision-making and treatment compliance among sinusitis patients. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study using the 2018 National Health Interview Survey. METHODS: Survey responses to nine questions regarding financial stressors and nine questions regarding cost-saving healthcare actions were recorded, which included seeking lower cost medication, medication noncompliance, and avoiding care visits due to costs. RESULTS: There was a total weighted sample size of 28.9 million patients who self-reported a diagnosis of sinusitis (12% of the U.S. population). Sinusitis patients who reported cost-saving actions had an increased severity of perceived financial insecurity than those without cost-saving actions (P < .001). Sinusitis patients with perceived financial insecurity had the highest odds of at least one cost-saving action (odds ratio [OR] = 5.94, 95% CI = 5.911-5.970, P < .001), followed by lack of health insurance (OR = 5.13, 95% CI = 5.107-5.159, P < .001), and poor self-reported health status (OR = 2.81, 95% CI = 2.792-2.822, P < .001). Increasing the number of financial stressors increased the odds of at least one cost-saving action (P < .001). Across all financial stressors, the most commonly performed cost-saving action was asking for lower cost medication. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived financial insecurity is associated with cost-saving healthcare actions among sinusitis patients, including treatment noncompliance. Interventions to assess financial insecurity among sinusitis patients may facilitate shared decision-making for optimal, individualized treatment plans that may lead to improved outcomes and quality of life. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: NA Laryngoscope, 131:2403-2412, 2021.

Topic(s): Economic Burden
Health Condition(s): Otorhinolaryngology
Year Published: 2021
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