Cancer patients and their families experience a range of physical, psychological and financial adverse effects. Community-based cancer centres offer a range of services and interventions, free of charge, to support those affected by cancer. While shown to be effective, there is a lack of information on the costs of these services. Our aim was to estimate the resource impact of a community-based cancer support centre. Over a 7-month period, there were 2032 contacts with 238 clients whose average age was 60 years. The most frequently used services were transport to treatment (20%), complementary therapies (48%), exercise classes (10%) and counselling (9%). This cost analysis estimated total annual cost to provide all services was €313,744. Average annual cost per person was €1138. Current uptake at the centre represents 8% of all cancer incidences in seven counties surrounding the centre. If uptake increases by 10%, scenario analyses predict an increase in total costs increase to €429,043 and a decrease in costs per patient to €915. As cancer incidences increase, the need for supportive care is growing. Community-based services have been established to meet these needs and fill this gap in national health services. Long-term sustainability of these centres is uncertain as they are entirely reliant on donations and volunteers. This analysis estimates the costs of one such community-based cancer support centre, for the first time in Ireland. Findings can be used to inform future planning of cancer supportive care services, including establishing links between tertiary and community-based centres, and cost effectiveness analyses, nationally and internationally.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article.
Ahmad AS, Ormiston-Smith N, Sasieni PD (2015) Trends in the lifetime risk of developing cancer in Great Britain: comparison of risk for those born from 1930 to 1960. Br J Cancer 112(5):943–947. https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2014.606
NCRI (2019) Cancer in Ireland 1994–2017 with estimates for 2017–2019: annual report of the National Cancer Registry 2019 Cork, Ireland: National Cancer Registry
van’t Spijker A, Trijsburg RW, Duivenvoorden HJ (1997) Psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis: a meta-analytical review of 58 studies after 1980. Psychosom Med 59(3):280–293
Drummond FJ, Kinnear H, O’Leary E, Gavin A, Sharp L (2015) Long-term health-related quality of life of prostate cancer survivors varies by primary treatment. Results from the PiCTure (Prostate Cancer Treatment, your experience) study. J Cancer Surviv 9(2):361–372
Drummond FJ, O’Leary E, Gavin A, Kinnear H, Sharp L (2016) Mode of prostate cancer detection is associated with the psychological wellbeing of survivors: results from the PiCTure study. Support Care Cancer 24(5):2297–2307. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-015-3033-x
Molassiotis A, Wilson B, Blair S, Howe T, Cavet J (2011) Unmet supportive care needs, psychological well-being and quality of life in patients living with multiple myeloma and their partners. Psycho-oncology. 20(1):88–97
Meade E, McIlfatrick S, Groarke AM, Butler E, Dowling M (2017) Survivorship care for postmenopausal breast cancer patients in Ireland: what do women want? Eur J Oncol Nurs 28:69–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejon.2017.03.003
Harrison JD, Young JM, Price MA, Butow PN, Solomon MJ (2009) What are the unmet supportive care needs of people with cancer? A systematic review. Support Care Cancer 17(8):1117–1128
Puts M, Papoutsis A, Springall E, Tourangeau A (2012) A systematic review of unmet needs of newly diagnosed older cancer patients undergoing active cancer treatment. Support Care Cancer 20(7):1377–1394
O’Connor MODB, Drummond F, Donnelly C (2019) Unmet needs of cancer survivors in Ireland: a scoping review 2019. National Cancer Registry Ireland, Cork
Rehse B, Pukrop R (2003) Effects of psychosocial interventions on quality of life in adult cancer patients: meta analysis of 37 published controlled outcome studies. Patient Educ Couns 50(2):179–186. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0738-3991(02)00149-0
Goodwin PJ, Leszcz M, Ennis M, Koopmans J, Vincent L, Guther H, Drysdale E, Hundleby M, Chochinov HM, Navarro M, Speca M, Masterson J, Dohan L, Sela R, Warren B, Paterson A, Pritchard KI, Arnold A, Doll R, O’Reilly SE, Quirt G, Hood N, Hunter J (2001) The effect of group psychosocial support on survival in metastatic breast cancer. N Engl J Med 345(24):1719–1726
Sanders SL, Bantum EO, Owen JE, Thornton AA, Stanton AL (2010) Supportive care needs in patients with lung cancer. Psycho-Oncology. 19(5):480–489
Sender A, Friedrich M, Leuteritz K, Nowe E, Stöbel-Richter Y, Mehnert A et al (2019) Unmet supportive care needs in young adult cancer patients: associations and changes over time. Results from the AYA-Leipzig study. J Cancer Surviv:1–9
Drummond FJ, Gavin AT, Sharp L (2017) Supportive medications and interventions received by prostate cancer survivors: results from the PiCTure study. J Commun Support Oncol 15(6):E309–EE13
Wong EC, Kaplan C, Shumay D, Leykin Y, Van’t Veer L, Stover-Fiscalini A et al (2016) Patient utilization of supportive care services identified through the Athena Breast Health Questionnaire System. American Society of Clinical Oncology
Gaskin CJ, Fraser SF, Owen PJ, Craike M, Orellana L, Livingston PM (2016) Fitness outcomes from a randomised controlled trial of exercise training for men with prostate cancer: the ENGAGE study. J Cancer Surviv 10(6):972–980
Jeitler M, Jaspers J, von Scheidt C, Koch B, Michalsen A, Steckhan N, Kessler CS (2017) Mind-body medicine and lifestyle modification in supportive cancer care: a cohort study on a day care clinic program for cancer patients. Psycho-oncology. 26(12):2127–2134
Glaser KM, McDaniel DC, Hess SM, Flores TF, Rokitka DA, Reid ME (2019) Implementing an integrative survivorship program at a comprehensive cancer center: a multimodal approach to life after cancer. J Altern Complement Med 25(S1):S106–SS11
Gentile D, Boselli D, O’Neill G, Yaguda S, Bailey-Dorton C, Eaton TA (2018) Cancer pain relief after healing touch and massage. J Altern Complement Med 24(9–10):968–973
Titler MG, Visovatti MA, Shuman C, Ellis KR, Banerjee T, Dockham B, Yakusheva O, Northouse L (2017) Effectiveness of implementing a dyadic psychoeducational intervention for cancer patients and family caregivers. Support Care Cancer 25(11):3395–3406
Fischer FH, Lewith G, Witt CM, Linde K, von Ammon K, Cardini F, Falkenberg T, Fønnebø V, Johannessen H, Reiter B, Uehleke B, Weidenhammer W, Brinkhaus B (2014) High prevalence but limited evidence in complementary and alternative medicine: guidelines for future research. BMC Complement Altern Med 14(1):46. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-14-46
Fox P, Coughlan B, Butler M, Kelleher C (2010) Complementary alternative medicine (CAM) use in Ireland: a secondary analysis of SLAN data. Complement Ther Med 18(2):95–103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2010.02.001
Maindet C, Burnod A, Minello C, George B, Allano G, Lemaire A (2019) Strategies of complementary and integrative therapies in cancer-related pain—attaining exhaustive cancer pain management. Support Care Cancer:1–14
Drummond FJ, O’Connor M, O’Donovan B, Donnelly C, Hegarty J, Murphy A et al (2019) The impact of community-based supportive interventions on cancer patients and survivors: a systematic review. PROSPERO CRD42019124166
Strong V, Waters R, Hibberd C, Murray G, Wall L, Walker J, McHugh G, Walker A, Sharpe M (2008) Management of depression for people with cancer (SMaRT oncology 1): a randomised trial. Lancet 372(9632):40–48
Bourke L, Stevenson R, Turner R, Hooper R, Sasieni P, Greasley R, Morrissey D, Loosemore M, Fisher A, Payne H, Taylor SJC, Rosario DJ (2018) Exercise training as a novel primary treatment for localised prostate cancer: a multi-site randomised controlled phase II study. Sci Rep 8(1):8374
DOH (2017) National Cancer Strategy 217–2025. Department of Health, Dublin
Richards M, Corner J, Maher J (2011) The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative: new and emerging evidence on the ongoing needs of cancer survivors. Br J Cancer 105(S1):S1–S4. https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2011.416
HIQA (2019) Guidelines for the economic evaluation of health technologies. Health Information and Quality Authority, Dublin
Health Service Executive. 1 January 2019 Consolidated Pay Scales FINAL - HSE2019
Larg A, Moss JR (2011) Cost-of-illness studies. Pharmacoeconomics. 29(8):653–671
Drummond MF, Sculpher MJ, Claxton K, Stoddart GL, Torrance GW (2015) Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes. Oxford university press
Ireland. Circular 18/2018: Domestic Subsistence Allowances. Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. 2018. https://circulars.gov.ie/pdf/circular/per/2018/18.pdf
Briggs A, Sculpher M, Claxton K (2006) Decision modelling for health economic evaluation. OUP Oxford
NCRI (2018) Cancer factsheets overview & most common cancers. National Cancer Registry, Ireland
Hanly P, Soerjomataram I, Sharp L (2015) Measuring the societal burden of cancer: the cost of lost productivity due to premature cancer-related mortality in E urope. Int J Cancer 136(4):E136–EE45
Hanly PA, Sharp L (2014) The cost of lost productivity due to premature cancer-related mortality: an economic measure of the cancer burden. BMC Cancer 14(1):224
Hanly P, Walsh PM, Céilleachair AÓ, Skally M, Staines A, Kapur K et al (2013) Work-related productivity losses in an era of ageing populations: the case of colorectal cancer. J Occup Environ Med 55(2):128–134
Pearce A, Bradley C, Hanly P, O’Neill C, Thomas AA, Molcho M, Sharp L (2016) Projecting productivity losses for cancer-related mortality 2011–2030. BMC Cancer 16(1):804
Hanly P, Céilleachair AÓ, Skally M, O’Leary E, Kapur K, Fitzpatrick P, Staines A, Sharp L (2013) How much does it cost to care for survivors of colorectal cancer? Caregiver’s time, travel and out-of-pocket costs. Support Care Cancer 21(9):2583–2592
Céilleachair AÓ, Hanly P, Skally M, O’Leary E, O’Neill C, Fitzpatrick P et al (2017) Counting the cost of cancer: out-of-pocket payments made by colorectal cancer survivors. Support Care Cancer 25(9):2733–2741
Pearce AM, Ryan F, Drummond FJ, Thomas AA, Timmons A, Sharp L (2016) Comparing the costs of three prostate cancer follow-up strategies: a cost minimisation analysis. Support Care Cancer 24(2):879–886
The authors would like to thank Mrs. Jacqueline Daly, Director of Service at EG&M Cancer Support, Seamus Daly, Irena Plaksey, Anna O’Bara (at EG&M Cancer Support) and all the volunteers (too numerous to name) at the centre for their help during this study and their ongoing work at the centre. The authors would also like to especially thank all of the people who took part in the EveCans study.
This research was funded by Breakthrough Cancer Research.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the Clinical Research Ethics Committee Cork.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants involved in the study.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Murphy, A., Chu, R.W. & Drummond, F.J. A cost analysis of a community-based support centre for cancer patients and their families in Ireland: the EVeCANs study. Support Care Cancer (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05508-8