Special Issue "Financial Toxicity of Cancer Treatment and Care"

A special issue of Current Oncology (ISSN 1718-7729). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Economics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2022 | Viewed by 1811

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Christopher J. Longo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
DeGroote School of Business, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, McMaster University, Toronto, ON, Canada
Interests: financial burden of cancer; health technology assessment; health policy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Margaret Fitch
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A1, Canada
Interests: supportive care; cancer care; palliative care; psychosocial oncology; oncology nursing; survivorship; clinical nursing research
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the course of many years, significant advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment have led to dramatic improvements in clinical outcomes. However, the cost of cancer care continues to rise, with more expensive anti-cancer drugs and higher treatment costs for chemotherapy or immunotherapy, as well as an impact on income streams. These costs place a significant financial burden on patients and their caregivers.

Financial toxicity (FT), which indicates the unexpected and unanticipated financial burden experienced by cancer patients receiving cancer treatment or follow-up care, is associated with an increased risk of negative outcomes and death. The risk of financial toxicity is influenced by the cancer type and severity, treatment received, age, income and type of health insurance. The impact of financial distress on cancer patients can include impaired health-related quality of life, not taking medications as prescribed to save money, and substandard quality of care. There are still some aspects of financial toxicity that have very limited data, or data that is out of date. We hope this Special Issue will allow researchers to more fully explore the current issues facing patients and their caregivers related to financial stresses.

In this Special Issue, original research articles, including both quantitative and qualitative designs, and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Patient/family-level impact of financial toxicity;
  • Potential interventions to mitigate financial toxicity.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Christopher J. Longo
Prof. Dr. Margaret Fitch
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Current Oncology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • financial toxicity
  • financial burden
  • cancer care
  • cost
  • financial distress

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Clinical Management of Financial Toxicity–Identifying Opportunities through Experiential Insights of Cancer Survivors, Caregivers, and Social Workers
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(10), 7705-7717; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29100609 - 14 Oct 2022
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Abstract
Perspectives of cancer survivors, caregivers, and social workers as key stakeholders on the clinical management of financial toxicity (FT) are critical to identify opportunities for better FT management. Semi-structured interviews (cancer survivors, caregivers) and a focus group (social workers) were undertaken using purposive [...] Read more.
Perspectives of cancer survivors, caregivers, and social workers as key stakeholders on the clinical management of financial toxicity (FT) are critical to identify opportunities for better FT management. Semi-structured interviews (cancer survivors, caregivers) and a focus group (social workers) were undertaken using purposive sampling at a quaternary public hospital in Australia. People with any cancer diagnosis attending the hospital were eligible. Data were analysed using inductive-deductive content analysis techniques. Twenty-two stakeholders (n = 10 cancer survivors of mixed-cancer types, n = 5 caregivers, and n = 7 social workers) participated. Key findings included: (i) genuine concern for FT of cancer survivors and caregivers shown through practical support by health care and social workers; (ii) need for clarity of role and services; (iii) importance of timely information flow; and (iv) proactive navigation as a priority. While cancer survivors and caregivers received financial assistance and support from the hospital, the lack of synchronised, shared understanding of roles and services in relation to finance between cancer survivors, caregivers, and health professionals undermined the effectiveness and consistency of these services. A proactive approach to anticipate cancer survivors’ and caregivers’ needs is recommended. Future research may develop and evaluate initiatives to manage cancer survivors and families FT experiences and outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Financial Toxicity of Cancer Treatment and Care)
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Systematic Review
Patient Perceived Financial Burden in Haematological Malignancies: A Systematic Review
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(6), 3807-3824; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29060305 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 846
Abstract
Advances in scientific understanding have led to novel therapies and improved supportive care for many patients with haematological malignancies. However, these new drugs are often costly, only available at centralised health care facilities, require regular specialist reviews and lengthy treatment regimens. This leads [...] Read more.
Advances in scientific understanding have led to novel therapies and improved supportive care for many patients with haematological malignancies. However, these new drugs are often costly, only available at centralised health care facilities, require regular specialist reviews and lengthy treatment regimens. This leads to a significant financial burden. Understanding the impact of financial burden on haematological patients is important to appreciate the urgency of alleviating this systemic issue. Method: Eligible studies were identified by systematically searching Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Embase. Self-reported data reported in both quantitative and qualitative studies that described the financial burden for patients with haematological malignancies were included. Quality appraisal of the included studies was undertaken using the Joanna Briggs Institute tools. A narrative synthesis was employed. For quantitative studies, outcomes were extracted, tabulated and categorised to find similarities and differences between the studies. For qualitative studies, quotations, codes and themes were extracted and then clustered. An inductive approach derived qualitative themes. Results: Twenty studies were identified for inclusion. Of the quantitative studies most (83%) employed un-validated researcher-generated measures to assess financial burden. Between 15–59% of patients experienced a financial burden. Out-of-pocket expenditure was frequent for clinical appointments, prescription and non-prescription medication, and travel. Financial burden was associated with a worsening quality of life and living in metropolitan areas, but there was no evidence for impact on survival. Patient-centred experiences from the qualitative inquiry complemented the quantitative findings and five themes were determined: familial or household impact; reliance on others; barriers to care due to cost; and barriers to accessing financial assistance and sources of out-of-pocket expenses. Conclusion: The impacts of financial burden are yet to be fully appreciated in haematological malignancies, exacerbated by the heterogeneous methods employed by researchers. Future work should focus on identifying the long-term ramifications of financial burden for patients and should trial interventions to reduce its prevalence and patient impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Financial Toxicity of Cancer Treatment and Care)
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