Economic impact of advanced pediatric cancer on families.

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Date Published

2014 Mar

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<p><strong>CONTEXT: </strong>Despite emerging evidence of substantial financial distress in families of children with complex illness, little is known about economic hardship in families of children with advanced cancer.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>To describe perceived financial hardship, work disruptions, income losses, and associated economic impact in families of children with advanced cancer stratified by federal poverty level (FPL).</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Cross-sectional survey of 86 parents of children with progressive, recurrent, or nonresponsive cancer at three children's hospitals. Seventy-one families with complete income data (82%) are included in this analysis.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Parental work disruptions were prevalent across all income levels, with 67 (94%) families reporting some disruption. At least one parent quit a job because of the child's illness in 29 (42%) families. Nineteen (27%) families described their child's illness as a great economic hardship. Income losses because of work disruptions were substantial for all families; families at or below 200% FPL, however, were disproportionately affected. Six (50%) of the poorest families lost more than 40% of their annual income as compared with two (5%) of the wealthiest families (P&nbsp;=&nbsp;0.006). As a result of income losses, nine (15%) previously nonpoor families fell from above to below 200% FPL.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>The economic impact of pediatric advanced cancer on families is significant at all income levels, although poorer families suffer disproportionate losses. Development of ameliorative intervention strategies is warranted.</p>



Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage




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