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Economic stress among low-income women with cancer
Effects on quality of life
Article first published online: 17 DEC 2007
Copyright © 2007 American Cancer Society
Volume 112, Issue 3, pages 616–625, 1 February 2008
How to Cite
Ell, K., Xie, B., Wells, A., Nedjat-Haiem, F., Lee, P.-J. and Vourlekis, B. (2008), Economic stress among low-income women with cancer. Cancer, 112: 616–625. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23203
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 17 DEC 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 AUG 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 16 AUG 2007
- Manuscript Received: 8 MAY 2007
- National Cancer Institute. Grant Number: RO1 CA94827-01
- breast and gynecologic cancer;
- economic stress;
- quality of life
Attention to the economic consequences of cancer has grown as the number of cancer survivors is increasing. Although prevalent among low-income minority survivors, the impact of economic stress on quality of life (QOL) remains largely unexplored.
Data are reported for 487 predominantly Hispanic low-income women with a primary diagnosis of breast or gynecological cancer and undergoing active treatment or follow-up. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses examined the effects of economic concerns on QOL, depression, and anxiety.
Rates of unemployment, medical cost and wage concerns, and financial stress were high in this study population, at baseline, respectively, 70%, 68%, 47%, and 49%. The proportions reporting unemployed status and medical cost concerns stayed flat from baseline to 6 months, followed by a pronounced drop at 12 months. Patient reported rates of lost wage worries increased from baseline to 6 months, followed by a moderate decrease. Functional, emotional, physical, and social-family well-being and depression and anxiety scores exhibited consistent linear improvement from baseline to 12 months. Over 12 months, patients reporting economic concerns had significantly poorer functional, emotional, and affective well-being.
Economic stress is negatively associated with QOL, highlighting the importance of addressing economic stress in low-income women with cancer. Cancer 2008. © 2007 American Cancer Society.