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Cancer. 2008 Feb 1;112(3):616-25.

Economic stress among low-income women with cancer: effects on quality of life.

Author information

  • 1University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0411, USA. ell@usc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

Economic stress is negatively associated with QOL, highlighting the importance of addressing economic stress in low-income women with cancer.

PMID:
18085642
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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