This interdisciplinary project aims to develop the first German-language standardised and validated questionnaire to assess patients’ self-reported financial effects of a tumor disease.
Cancer diagnosis and therapy can be associated with physical, emotional and financial burdens in patients. While much attention is being paid to physical and emotional stress, there is almost no data on financial toxicity and its impact on patients in Germany. Financial toxicity is a side effect of cancer that results from the perceived distress an individual may experience due to direct and indirect cancer-related costs, referred to as objective financial burden.
Social services have been recording an increasing need for advice in this area for years. However, the spectrum of objective financial burden and its subjective consequences for the individual affected patients and their relatives are neither defined nor systematically recorded for the German health care context – among others due to the absence of a validated and standardised survey instrument.
With combined expertise from oncology/medical ethics, health economics, and empirical social research methods, this project pursues the following objectives:
Aims of the project:
- Identification of relevant dimensions and topics for assessing the financial impact of cancer for affected patients
- Identification of dimensions and topics that are relevant for social services and payers as potential users of the instrument
- Definition of the construct “financial burdens”
- Development of a reliable and valid German-language instrument for measuring experienced financial effects of a cancer diagnosis and therapy
- Piloting of a screening program to identify patients with an exceptionally high risk of financial burdens
- Formulation of well-founded recommendations for the use of the instrument in the clinical (e.g. as a screening tool for social services advice) and regulatory context (for payers)