Extensive financial hardship among gynecologic cancer patients starting a new line of therapy

Academic Article


  • Objective: Our objective was to evaluate the three domains of financial hardship (psychological response, material conditions, and coping behaviors) among gynecologic cancer patients receiving treatment. Methods: We conducted a single-institution survey of gynecologic cancer patients starting a new line of therapy for primary or recurrent disease. Psychological response was measured using Comprehensive Score for Financial Toxicity, with score < 26 indicating financial distress. We measured material conditions by patient-reported changes in employment or spending and coping behaviors by patient-reported medication non-adherence. We performed descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis, and multivariate logistic regression. Results: Among 121 participants, the mean age was 59 years, 28% were African-American, 50% reported income < $40,000, 74% had private insurance, 20% had only public insurance, and 7% were uninsured. Sixty-five (54%) participants screened positive for financial distress. Age < 65 years (aOR 2.61, 95% CI 1.04–6.52) and income < $40,000 (aOR 3.41, 95% CI 1.28–9.09) were associated with increased odds of screening positive for financial distress. Participants with financial distress were significantly more likely to report material hardship, including losing wages (46% vs. 18%, p < 0.01), not paying bills on time (40% vs. 7%, p < 0.01), and borrowing money (39% vs. 4%, p < 0.01). Financial distress was not associated with coping behaviors, such as not taking (6% vs. 2%, p = 0.37) or refilling medications (5% vs. 2%, p = 0.62). Conclusions: Financial distress affects over half of gynecologic cancer patients starting a new line of treatment and is associated with material hardship. Younger age and lower income can be used to identify patients at increased risk.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Liang MI; Pisu M; Summerlin SS; Boitano TKL; Blanchard CT; Bhatia S; Huh WK
  • Start Page

  • 271
  • End Page

  • 277
  • Volume

  • 156
  • Issue

  • 2