One in five cancer patients could be experiencing financial difficulties because of their care needs, according to new research published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.
Lead researcher Dr Alison Pearce from the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), says financial difficulty or ‘toxicity’ adds to the distress cancer patients experience, so it is important to find ways to reduce this.
Overall, more than 20 per cent of people with cancer in the new study reported financial difficulty as a result of their cancer care. For the unemployed the rate of financial difficulties was 27 per cent, compared to 16 per cent for those in work.
The benefits of integrating rehabilitation services into cancer care may be well-understood, but actually making it happen consistently—and doing it in ways that are truly effective—is something that will take a “multi-pronged approach,” according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) expert panel.
The panel, an interdisciplinary group of subject matter experts in fields that include physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, nursing, medicine, epidemiology, and others, took a close look at the current state of cancer rehabilitation’s clinical models, patient-reported outcomes measures, clinical objective measures of function, and interdisciplinary integration. The idea: to find out what is working, and what isn’t, and to develop a set of recommendation that would guide a national initiative toward true integration of effective cancer rehabilitation into care of the cancer survivor.