Financial Toxicity: A Review of the Literature and Nursing Opportunities

Teresa Thomas

Therese Hughes

Leila J. Mady

Sarah M. Belcher
economic burden of care, quality of life, health expenditures, cost of illness
CJON 2019, 23(5), 5-13. DOI: 10.1188/19.CJON.S2.5-13

Background: Studies have demonstrated the negative effects of the costs of cancer care on the health and well-being of patients with cancer. Nurses require knowledge of the risk factors, experiences, and outcomes associated with financial toxicity prior to designing evidence-based studies and protocols to address financial toxicity.

Objectives: This article summarizes the state of the science in financial toxicity among patients with cancer, with the goal of guiding nurses in leading research and evidence-based practice efforts to decrease the impact of financial toxicity on patient outcomes.

Methods: The authors reviewed published research, theoretical models, and research grants that focus on financial toxicity among patients with cancer. The authors also synthesized study findings and project goals while emphasizing opportunities for nurses to meaningfully engage within this area as researchers and clinicians.

Findings: Substantial cross-sectional descriptive work documents the risk factors, experiences, and outcomes of financial toxicity. Future work should address methodologic concerns by using comprehensive, validated measures and applying conceptual models to design and test financial toxicity interventions using prospective, rigorous methodologies. The authors propose a conceptual model to assist researchers and clinicians.

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