Posttraumatic stress symptoms and financial toxicity among adolescent and young adult oncology patients and their caregivers at cancer diagnosis

Baum, L. V., Koyama, T., Schremp, E. A., Zhang, K., Rodweller, C. A., Roth, M. C., Compas, B. E., Friedman, D. L.

BACKGROUND: Adolescent and young adult oncology (AYAO) patients and caregivers may experience significant psychosocial dysfunction and financial toxicity. Understanding early risk factors is critical to improving survivorship trajectories. METHODS: The authors conducted a cross-sectional study of baseline survey data from a prospective cohort of AYAO patient-caregiver dyads enrolled within 1 month of medical oncology treatment initiation. Posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) were measured by the Impacts of Events Scale-Revised, and financial toxicity was measured with the Comprehensive Score (COst). The authors fit models of linear association between PTSS, financial toxicity, and other end points and pairwise associations of PTSS and financial toxicity within dyads. RESULTS: The analytic cohort contained 41 patients, 37 caregivers, and 34 complete dyads. Clinically-concerning PTSS were observed among patients (44%) and caregivers (52%). The median COst scores were 20.0 for patients (quartiles, 12.5-29.5) and 22.0 for caregivers (quartiles, 12.8-26.0), which were consistent with high financial toxicity (patients, 46%; caregivers, 44%). PTSS were positively associated with financial toxicity (P = .013 for patients, P = .039 for caregivers), subjective distress (P < .001 for all), depressive (P < .001 for all) and anxiety symptoms (P = .005 for patients, P = .024 for caregivers), and poorer quality of life (P < .001 for patients, P = .003 for caregivers). A significant paired association was not found in PTSS (Pearson correlation coefficient [PCC], 0.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.15 to 0.56). Financial toxicity was positively associated within dyads (PCC, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.36-0.83). CONCLUSIONS: At diagnosis, AYAO patients and caregivers exhibit substantial PTSS, which are associated with greater financial toxicity and other psychosocial distress.

Health Condition(s): Cancer
Year Published: 2022
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