MONDAY, April 10, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Partners of colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors experience long-term financial toxicity that is associated with worse health-related quality of life (HRQoL), according to a study published online April 6 in JAMA Network Open.

Lauren V. Ghazal, Ph.D., from the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the association between financial toxicity and HRQoL among partners of colorectal cancer survivors. The analysis included survey responses from 501 survivors who were one to five years from a stage III CRC diagnosis and separate responses from their partners (307 individuals).

The researchers found that most partners (68.1 percent) reported adverse financial outcomes. There was an association observed between high financial burden and worse HRQoL in the pain interference domain, while debt was associated with worse HRQoL in the sleep disturbance domain and high financial worry was associated with worse HRQoL in the social functioning, fatigue, and pain interference domains. Individual-level behavioral factors were associated with partner financial outcomes and HRQoL, in addition to systems-level factors.

“The results of this survey study suggest that long-term financial toxicity among partners of CRC survivors was associated with worse HRQoL via systems- and individual-level behavioral factors,” the authors write. “This contribution to the financial toxicity literature will help researchers better tailor interventions to effectively mitigate financial toxicity and improve HRQoL for both patients and partners.”

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