Economic burden for informal caregivers of lung and colorectal cancer patients

Courtney Harold van Houtven, Scott D. Ramsey, Mark C. Hornbrook, Audie A. Atienza, Michelle van Ryn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Informal care provides many benefits to cancer patients, but can be costly to caregivers. This study quantified the economic burden for informal caregivers of lung cancer (LC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) patients, examining differences by cancer type, phase of disease, stage at diagnosis, patient age, and relationship. Methods. A cross-sectional survey of caregivers of LC and CRC patients participating in the Share Thoughts on Care survey was conducted. Economic burden was calculated using the opportunity cost of caregiver time, the value of work hours lost, and out-of-pocket expenditures. Factors associated with economic burden to caregivers were modeled using fixed-effects generalized least squares estimation. Results. Informal caregivers (1,629) completed mailed surveys. Of these, 663, 822, and 144 were surveyed during the patient's initial phase (first year after diagnosis, not within 6 months of death), continuing phase (after 1 year, not within 6 months of death), and terminal phase (within 6 months of death) of disease, respectively. The accumulated economic burdens for caregivers were $7,028, $19,701, and $14,234 for those evaluated during the patient's initial phase, continuing phase, and terminal phase of disease, respectively. Economic burden was higher for caregivers of LC patients than CRC patients (p =.044) and for caregivers of patients diagnosed at stage 4 versus stage 1 (p =.001). Spouses faced higher economic burden than other relatives (p =.000) or friends (p =.000). Conclusions. Economic burden for informal caregivers of LC and CRC patients is substantial and should be included in estimates of the societal cost of cancer care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)883-893
Number of pages11
JournalOncologist
Volume15
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Caregivers
Colorectal Neoplasms
Lung Neoplasms
Economics
Costs and Cost Analysis
Neoplasms
Health Expenditures
Least-Squares Analysis
Spouses
Patient Care
Cross-Sectional Studies

Keywords

  • Cancer caregiving
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Informal care
  • Lung cancer
  • Opportunity costs
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Phase of disease
  • Stage of disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

van Houtven, C. H., Ramsey, S. D., Hornbrook, M. C., Atienza, A. A., & van Ryn, M. (2010). Economic burden for informal caregivers of lung and colorectal cancer patients. Oncologist, 15(8), 883-893. https://doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2010-0005

Economic burden for informal caregivers of lung and colorectal cancer patients. / van Houtven, Courtney Harold; Ramsey, Scott D.; Hornbrook, Mark C.; Atienza, Audie A.; van Ryn, Michelle.

In: Oncologist, Vol. 15, No. 8, 2010, p. 883-893.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

van Houtven, CH, Ramsey, SD, Hornbrook, MC, Atienza, AA & van Ryn, M 2010, 'Economic burden for informal caregivers of lung and colorectal cancer patients', Oncologist, vol. 15, no. 8, pp. 883-893. https://doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2010-0005
van Houtven, Courtney Harold ; Ramsey, Scott D. ; Hornbrook, Mark C. ; Atienza, Audie A. ; van Ryn, Michelle. / Economic burden for informal caregivers of lung and colorectal cancer patients. In: Oncologist. 2010 ; Vol. 15, No. 8. pp. 883-893.
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N2 - Background. Informal care provides many benefits to cancer patients, but can be costly to caregivers. This study quantified the economic burden for informal caregivers of lung cancer (LC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) patients, examining differences by cancer type, phase of disease, stage at diagnosis, patient age, and relationship. Methods. A cross-sectional survey of caregivers of LC and CRC patients participating in the Share Thoughts on Care survey was conducted. Economic burden was calculated using the opportunity cost of caregiver time, the value of work hours lost, and out-of-pocket expenditures. Factors associated with economic burden to caregivers were modeled using fixed-effects generalized least squares estimation. Results. Informal caregivers (1,629) completed mailed surveys. Of these, 663, 822, and 144 were surveyed during the patient's initial phase (first year after diagnosis, not within 6 months of death), continuing phase (after 1 year, not within 6 months of death), and terminal phase (within 6 months of death) of disease, respectively. The accumulated economic burdens for caregivers were $7,028, $19,701, and $14,234 for those evaluated during the patient's initial phase, continuing phase, and terminal phase of disease, respectively. Economic burden was higher for caregivers of LC patients than CRC patients (p =.044) and for caregivers of patients diagnosed at stage 4 versus stage 1 (p =.001). Spouses faced higher economic burden than other relatives (p =.000) or friends (p =.000). Conclusions. Economic burden for informal caregivers of LC and CRC patients is substantial and should be included in estimates of the societal cost of cancer care.

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