Correlation Between Financial Toxicity, Quality of Life and Patient Satisfaction in an Insured Population of Breast Cancer Surgical Patients: A Single-Institution Retrospective Study
The relationship between treatment-related, cost-associated distress “financial toxicity” (FT) and quality-of life (QOL) in breast cancer patients remains poorly characterized. This study leverages validated patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs) to analyze the association between FT and QOL and satisfaction among women undergoing ablative breast cancer surgery.
This is a single-institution cross-sectional survey of all female breast cancer patients (>18 years old) who underwent lumpectomy or mastectomy between January 2018 and June 2019. FT was measured via the 11-item COmprehensive Score for financial Toxicity (COST) instrument. The BREAST-Q and SF-12 were used to asses condition-specific and global QOL, respectively. Responses were linked with demographic and clinical data. Pearson correlation coefficient and multivariable regression were used to examine associations.
Our analytical sample consisted of 532 patients; mean age 58, mostly white (76.7%), employed (63.7%), married/committed (73.7%), with 64.3% undergoing reconstruction. Median household income was $80,000 to $120,000/year, and mean COST score was 28.0. After multivariable adjustment, a positive relationship for all outcomes was noted; lower COST (greater cost-associated distress) was associated with lower BREAST-Q and SF-12 scores. This relationship was strongest for BREAST-Q psychosocial well-being, for which we observed a 0.89 (95% CI 0.76–1.03) change per unit change in COST score.
Financial toxicity captured in this study correlates with statistically significant and clinically important differences in BREAST-Q psychosocial well-being, patient satisfaction with reconstructed breasts, and SF-12 global mental and physical quality of life. Treatment costs should be included in the shared decision-making for breast cancer surgery. Future prospective outcomes research should integrate COST.
Financial toxicity captured in this study correlates with statistically significant and clinically important differences in BREAST-Q psychosocial well-being, and patient satisfaction with reconstructed breasts, and 12-Item Short Form Health Survey global mental and physical quality of life.
Access the full journal article in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.