Financial impact of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation on patients and families over 2 years: results from a multicenter pilot study

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Abstract

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a procedure that can significantly influence the socioeconomic wellbeing of patients, caregivers and their families. Among 30 allogeneic HCT recipients and their caregivers enrolled on a pilot study evaluating the feasibility of studying financial impact of HCT, 16 agreed to participate in the long-term phase, completed a baseline questionnaire and received phone interviews at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months post HCT. Analyses showed that by 2 years post HCT, 54% of patients who previously contributed to household earnings had not returned to work and 80% of patients/caregivers reported transplant as having moderate to great impact on household income. However, patients' levels of confidence in their abilities to meet household financial obligations increased from baseline to 2 years. A relatively large proportion of patients reported inability to pay for medical care through this time period. Case studies demonstrated that patients' individual perceptions of the financial impact of HCT varies considerably, regardless of actual income. We demonstrate the feasibility of conducting a study to evaluate the financial impact of allogeneic HCT through 2 years post transplantation. Some patients/caregivers continue to experience a significant long-term financial burden after this procedure. Our study lays the foundation for a larger evaluation of patient/caregiver financial burden associated with HCT.

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