Divergent Patterns in Care Utilization and Financial Distress between Patients with Blood Cancers and Solid Tumors: A National Health Interview Survey Study, 2014-2020

Su, C. T., Veenstra, C. M., Patel, M. R.

INTRODUCTION: Important differences exist between the presentation, treatment, and survivorship of patients and survivors with blood cancers. Furthermore, existing research in financial toxicity has not fully addressed the relationship between medical care utilization and patient-reported outcomes of financial barriers and distress. We answered these questions by using a nationally representative survey. METHODS: Respondents with blood cancers and solid tumors from the National Health Interview Survey were identified (2014-2020). We identified 23 survey questions as study outcomes and grouped them into three domains of medical care utilization, financial barriers to care, and financial distress. Associations between the three domains and associations of study outcomes between cancer types were examined using weighted univariate analyses and multivariable linear and logistic regressions. RESULTS: The final study group consisted of 6248 respondents with solid tumors and 398 with blood cancers (diagnosed ≤ 5 years). Across all respondents with cancer, higher medical care utilization is generally associated with increased financial barriers to care. Compared to respondents with solid tumors, respondents with blood cancers had a higher level of medical care utilization (β = 0.36, p = 0.02), a lower level of financial barriers to care (β = -0.19, p < 0.0001), and a higher level of financial distress in affording care (β = 0.64, p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Patients and survivors with blood cancers and solid tumors demonstrate divergent patterns in care utilization, financial barriers, and financial distress. Future research and interventions on financial toxicity should be tailored for individual cancer groups, recognizing the differences in medical care utilization, which affect the experienced financial barriers.

Topic(s): Economic Burden
Health Condition(s): Cancer
Year Published: 2022
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