Kang, D., Bae, K. R., Lim, J., Kim, N., Shim, S., Kweon, S. S., Seo, H. J., Cho, J.
PURPOSE: To assess objective financial burden (OFB) and subjective financial distress (SFD) amikong working-age cancer survivors and evaluate their association with spiritual well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). METHODS: This is a multicenter cross-sectional survey of cancer survivors working at diagnosis between 2017 and 2018. OFB was defined as patients with high medical payments for individuals/households, debt due to cancer care costs, or bankruptcy. SFD was measured using a questionnaire. Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR), spiritual well-being, and HRQoL were also assessed. RESULTS: Among 727 participants, 31% reported that they experienced financial toxicity, and 12% and 26% had OFB and SFD, respectively. The No-OFB-SFD, OFB-No-SFD, and OFB-SFD groups were 4.90, 1.82, and 7.81 times more likely to experience uncertainty than the No-OFB-No-SFD group. Furthermore, the No-OFB-SFD, OFB-No-SFD, and OFB-SFD groups were 1.92, 1.35, and 2.53 times more likely to report lost purpose of life, respectively. Overall QoL and health status in the No-OFB-No-SFD, No-OFB-SFD, OFB-No-SFD, and OFB-SFD groups were 63.1, 42.9, 57.0, and 41.2, respectively. Survivors who had SFD regardless of OFB had lower HRQoL and functioning, and higher symptoms than those of the survivors without SFD. CONCLUSION: Financial toxicity was associated with FCR, uncertainty, loss of purpose, and loss of hope among working-age cancer survivors, even in a universal care setting. It is associated with FCR, uncertainty, loss of purpose, and loss of hope. It is necessary to inform survivors of the financial implications of cancer care to allow them to prepare financially as needed.