Household income and risk-of-poverty of parents of long-term childhood cancer survivors
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BACKGROUND: Taking care of children diagnosed with cancer affects parents' professional life and may place the family at risk-of-poverty. We aimed to (i) compare the household income and risk-of-poverty of parents of childhood cancer survivors (CCS) to parents of the general population, and (ii) identify sociodemographic and cancer-related factors associated with risk-of-poverty. METHODS: As part of the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we sent a questionnaire to parents of CCS aged 5-15 years, who survived ≥5 years after diagnosis. Information on parents of the general population came from the Swiss Household Panel (parents with ≥1 child aged 5-15 years). Risk-of-poverty was defined as having a monthly household income of <4,500 Swiss Francs (CHF) for single parents and <6,000 CHF for parent-couples. We used logistic regression to identify factors associated with risk-of-poverty. RESULTS: We included parents of 383 CCS and 769 control parent households. Parent-couples of CCS had a lower household income (Ptrend < 0.001) and were at higher risk-of-poverty (30.4% vs. 19.3%, P = 0.001) compared to control parent-couples. Household income and risk-of-poverty of single parents of CCS was similar to control single parents. Parents of CCS were at higher risk-of-poverty if they had only standard education (ORmother = 3.77 [where OR is odds ratio], confidence interval [CI]: 1.61-8.82; ORfather = 8.59, CI: 4.16-17.72) and were from the German language region (OR = 1.99, CI: 1.13-3.50). We found no cancer-related risk factors. CONCLUSION: Parents of long-term CCS reported lower household income and higher risk-of-poverty than control parents. Support strategies may be developed to mitigate parents' risk-of-poverty in the long term, particularly among parents with lower education.
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