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Health Care Financ Rev. 2008 Summer;29(4):23-40.

Disparities in HRQOL of cancer survivors and non-cancer managed care enrollees.

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  • 1National Cancer Institute (NCI), Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20892-7344, USA.


Health plan member survey and cancer registry data were analyzed to understand differences in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among cancer survivors and those without a cancer diagnosis enrolled in Medicare managed care. HRQOL was measured by the physical component summary score (PCS) and mental component summary score (MCS) of the Medical Outcomes Study SF-36, version 1.0. Cancer survivors enrolled in Medicare managed care have lower PCS and MCS scores than those enrollees who have never been diagnosed with cancer. PCS scores are worse than the MCS scores, and lowest for cancer survivors who are Hispanic, Medicaid enrollees, and those who have low income or education. HRQOL disparities are greatest among cancer survivors diagnosed with lung cancer and those with multiple primary cancer diagnoses. The influence of these variables persists when controlling for multiple variables including comorbidity status. Health plans should focus on addressing these disparities.

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