Assessing the Relationship between Socio-demographic, Clinical Profile and Financial Toxicity: Evidence from Cancer Survivors in Sarawak

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Faculty of Economics and Business, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia.

2 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Abstract

Background: Patient’s financial ability is always the most critical imputes to treatment choice and adherence; as it translates into health outcomes such as survival rate and quality of life. Cancer care is likely to affect the patient’s financial well-being, putting huge financial pressure to the families. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the confounding factors of financial toxicity among cancer survivors along the course of survivorship. Methods: This study was designed in the form of cross-sectional analysis, in which, cancer survivors were recruited from the Sarawak General Hospital, the largest tertiary and referral public hospital in Sarawak. To capture the financial toxicity of the cancer survivors, the Comprehensive Score for Financial Toxicity (COST) instrument in its validated form was adopted. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was applied to determine the relationship between financial toxicity (FT) and its predictors. Results: The median age of the 461 cancer survivors was 56 while the median score of COST was 22.0. Besides, finding from multivariable logistic regression revealed that low income households (OR: 6.893, 95% CI, 3.109-15.281) were susceptible to higher risk of financial toxicity, while elderly survivors above 50 years old reported a lower risk in financial toxicity. Also, survivors with secondary schooling (OR:0.240; 95%CI, 0.110-0.519) and above [College or university (OR: 0.242; 95% CI, 0.090-0.646)] suffer a lower risk of FT. Conclusion: Financial toxicity was found to be associated with survivors age, household income and educational level. In the context of cancer treatment within public health facility, younger survivors, households from B40 group and individual with educational attainment below the first level schooling in the Malaysian system of education are prone to greater financial toxicity. Therefore, it is crucial for healthcare policymakers and clinicians to deliberate the plausible risk of financial toxicity borne by the patient amidst the treatment process.

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