Increased health care utilisation among 10-year breast cancer survivors
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- van de Poll-Franse, L.V., Mols, F., Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M. et al. Support Care Cancer (2006) 14: 436. doi:10.1007/s00520-005-0007-4
We investigated self-reported health care utilisation of women who survived breast cancer for 10 years and identified predictors of health care utilisation.
The population-based Eindhoven Cancer Registry was used to select all women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, in six hospitals in the Netherlands, and were disease-free at the time of data collection. Health status, psychological well-being, satisfaction with life and health care use were compared with same age controls. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of health care utilisation.
Of the 254 women who were sent a questionnaire, 183 (72%) responded. Breast cancer survivors had a similar health status and psychological well-being and a better satisfaction with life compared to same age controls. The proportion of breast cancer survivors (79%) who visited a specialist in the past 12 months was significantly higher compared to controls (53%). Young breast cancer survivors (45–54 at time of completing questionnaire) more often visited a physical therapist (56%) or complementary caregiver (26%) than controls (29 and 13%, respectively). Spontaneously reported problems (fatigue, arm problems) as a consequence of cancer and co-morbidity showed the strongest associations with health care utilisation.
Although self-reported health, satisfaction with life and psychological well-being were similar or even better in long-term breast cancer survivors compared to those in population controls, survivors more often attended a specialist, physical therapist and complementary caregiver in the past 12 months. Survivors of young age appear to have the highest use of health care services compared to age-matched controls, especially related to fatigue and arm problems.