The Cancer Financial Experience (CAFÉ) study: randomized controlled trial of a financial navigation intervention to address cancer-related financial hardship

Henrikson, N. B., Anderson, M. L., Dickerson, J., Ewing, J. J., Garcia, R., Keast, E., King, D. A., Lewis, C., Locher, B., McMullen, C., Norris, C. M., Petrik, A. F., Ramaprasan, A., Rivelli, J. S., Schneider, J. L., Shulman, L., Tuzzio, L., Banegas, M. P.

BACKGROUND: There is an urgent need for evidence on how interventions can prevent or mitigate cancer-related financial hardship. Our objectives are to compare self-reported financial hardship, quality of life, and health services use between patients receiving a financial navigation intervention versus a comparison group at 12 months follow-up, and to assess patient-level factors associated with dose received of a financial navigation intervention. METHODS: The Cancer Financial Experience (CAFÉ) study is a multi-site randomized controlled trial (RCT) with individual-level randomization. Participants will be offered either brief (one financial navigation cycle, Arm 2) or extended (three financial navigation cycles, Arm 3) financial navigation. The intervention period for both Arms 2 and 3 is 6 months. The comparison group (Arm 1) will receive enhanced usual care. The setting for the CAFÉ study is the medical oncology and radiation oncology clinics at two integrated health systems in the Pacific Northwest. Inclusion criteria includes age 18 or older with a recent cancer diagnosis and visit to a study clinic as identified through administrative data. Outcomes will be assessed at 12-month follow-up. Primary outcomes are self-reported financial distress and health-related quality of life. Secondary outcomes are delayed or foregone care; receipt of medical financial assistance; and account delinquency. A mixed methods exploratory analysis will investigate factors associated with total intervention dose received. DISCUSSION: The CAFÉ study will provide much-needed early trial evidence on the impact of financial navigation in reducing cancer-related financial hardship. It is theory-informed, clinic-based, aligned with patient preferences, and has been developed following preliminary qualitative studies and stakeholder input. By design, it will provide prospective evidence on the potential benefits of financial navigation on patient-relevant cancer outcomes. The CAFÉ trial’s strengths include its broad inclusion criteria, its equity-focused sampling plan, its novel intervention developed in partnership with clinical and operations stakeholders, and mixed methods secondary analyses related to intervention dose offered and dose received. The resulting analytic dataset will allow for rich mixed methods analysis and provide critical information related to implementation of the intervention should it prove effective. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT05018000 . August 23, 2021.

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