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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Arizona Study Finds Self-reported Depression and Perceived Financial Burden among Long-term Rectal Cancer Survivors

A study led by researchers from the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and colleagues found that Types of surgery for rectal cancer (RC), can affect psychological and financial well-being during active treatment. However, these relationships have not been well studied among long-term survivors more than five years post-diagnosis.

A mailed survey with 576 long-term RC survivors who were members of Kaiser Permanente was conducted in 2010–2011. Prevalence of current depression was ascertained using a score of ≤45.6 on the Short Form-12 version two mental component summary. Perceived financial burden was assessed using a Likert scale. Regression analyses were used to measure associations after adjustment for covariates.

The overall prevalence of depression was 24 percent among RC survivors with the highest prevalence among those with a history of permanent ostomy (PO). The adjusted odds of depression among anastomosis (TO) and initial anastomosis (AN) survivors were lower than that among PO survivors. Twenty-two percent perceived moderate-to-high current financial burden. PO survivors also reported higher mean financial burden than AN survivors, but perceived burden comparably to TO survivors. Self-reported depression was associated with higher perceived financial burden. Surgical procedure history did not modify this relationship.

Depression was reported frequently among these long-term RC survivors, particularly among PO survivors. Depression was associated with greater perception of financial burden. The research suggests that screening for depression and assessing financial well-being might improve care among long-term RC survivors.