Specialists from the University of Chicago have been discussing the painful reality of “financial toxicity” with cancer patients, social workers, cancer experts, and nurses in order to develop a method to reveal a patient’s proneness to financial stress, and also how to cope with it. The result of these efforts is called Comprehensive Score for Financial Toxicity, or COST for short. The discussions originally resulted in a list of nearly 150 questions, but the tool was eventually pared down to a format of 11 multiple choice questions or statements with five possible answers.
The aim of the COST tool is to provide a support network, such as financial counseling, to the cancer patients who seem most likely to stagnate in financial toxicity after their cancer goes away or into remission. In the course of the research, the team was surprised to find a larger correlation between financial toxicity and education in the study subjects, rather than financial toxicity and income. The team is still pursuing additional findings and validation of the original results in order to contribute further to a better quality of life for cancer survivors.
From the study: Eliminating the top and bottom 10 percentiles, the patients who participated in the questionnaire-development study earned between $37,000 and $111,000, with a median annual income of $63,000.
You can read the full article here: “Cancer Goes Away but Financial Pain Metastasizes”
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