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The Relationship Between Household Income and Patient-Reported Symptom Distress and Quality of Life in Children With Advanced Cancer: A Report From the PediQUEST Study.

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2018 Sep 14

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<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Children with advanced cancer experience high symptom distress, which negatively impacts their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). To the authors' knowledge, the relationship between income and symptom distress and HRQOL is not well described.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>The Pediatric Quality of Life and Symptoms Technology (PediQUEST) multisite clinical trial evaluated an electronic patient-reported outcome system to describe symptom distress and HRQOL in children with advanced cancer via repeated surveys. The authors performed a secondary analysis of PediQUEST data for those children with available parent-reported household income (dichotomized at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and categorized as low income [&lt;$50,000/year] or high income [≥$50,000/year]). The prevalence of the 5 most commonly reported physical and psychological symptoms was compared between groups. Multivariable generalized estimating equation models were used to test the association between household income and symptom distress and HRQOL.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>A total of 78 children were included in the analyses: 56 (72%) in the high-income group and 22 (28%) in the low-income group. Low-income children were more likely to report pain than high-income children (64% vs 42%; P=.02). In multivariable models, children from low-income families demonstrated a uniform trend toward higher total (β =3.1; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], -0.08 to 6.2 [P=.06]), physical (β=3.8; 95% CI, -0.4 to 8.0 [P=.09]), and psychological (β=3.46; 95% CI, -1.91 to 8.84 [P=.21]) symptom distress compared with children from high-income families. Low income was associated with a uniform trend toward lower total (β=-7.9; 95% CI, -14.8, to -1.1 [P=.03]), physical (β=-11.2; 95% CI, -21.2 to -1.2 [P=.04]), emotional (β=-5.8; 95% CI, -13.6 to 2.0 [P=.15]), social (β=-2.52; 95% CI, -9.27 to 4.24 [P=.47]), and school (β=-9.8; 95% CI, -17.8 to -1.8 [P=.03]) HRQOL.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>In this cohort of children with advanced cancer, children from low-income families were found to experience higher symptom burden and worse QOL.</p>



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