Relationships between Canadian adult cancer survivors’ annual household income and emotional/practical concerns, help‐seeking and unmet needs
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The objective of this study was to explore the relationship among income and emotional/practical concerns, help-seeking and unmet needs for cancer survivors aged 18 to 64 years one to three years after treatment. A cross-sectional survey was mailed in 2016 to 40,790 survivors randomly selected from 10 Canadian provincial cancer registries. Thirty-three percent responded. A trend analysis was conducted for survivors most likely to be in the workforce exploring the relationship across four income levels and emotional/practical concerns, whether help was sought for identified concerns, and whether help was received. A total of 4,264 respondents, aged 18-64, provided useable data with breast (34.4%) and colo-rectal (15.0%) accounting for the primary cancer type and 32.0% reporting annual household incomes of <$50,000. More than 94% of respondents indicated having emotional or practical concerns. Between one-third and one-half of the respondents sought help for their concerns and, of those, between one-third and one-half experienced difficulty finding help or did not obtain assistance. Significant trends across income categories indicated greater percentages of those in lower income categories experienced emotional and practical concerns, rated their concerns as 'big', sought help, and had difficulty finding help to address their concerns. Clearly adult cancer survivors experience emotional and practical concerns. Healthcare professionals have important roles monitoring these concerns and connecting those who desire help to relevant services. Opportunities should be given to individuals, regardless of income level, to indicate if they have concerns and if they would like assistance.
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