Quantitative analysis of the financial hardship faced by patients with brain tumors is lacking. As such, the present study sought to conduct a longitudinal analysis of responses to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) by patients diagnosed with brain tumors and characterize the impact of demographic factors on financial hardship indices.
NHIS respondents between 1997 and 2018 who reported prior diagnosis with cancer of the brain and responded to four survey questions that assessed financial stress were included. Sociodemographic exposures included age, ethnicity/race, marriage status, insurance status, and degree of highest educational attainment.
Educational attainment, marital status, and insurance status were the most significant risk factors for temporary or indefinite delays to necessary medical care. Those with only a high school diploma had 9.6 times higher odds (aOR 9.68, 95% CI: 2.96-31.70; p<.001) of reporting that, in the past 12 months, one of their family members had to limit their medical care in an effort to save money. Similarly, patients with brain tumors who were not married had 3.94 times greater odds (aOR 3.94, 95% CI: 1.49-10.44, p=.009) of avoiding necessary medical care due to an inability to afford it.
Given this variation in self-reported financial burden, demographics clearly have an impact on a patient’s holistic experience after a brain cancer diagnosis. Therefore, by using the comparisons in this study, we hope medical institutions and neurosurgical societies can more accurately predict which patients are most susceptible to significant financial stress and distribute resources accordingly.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.