The Economics of Cancer Care: Implications for Family Caregivers
Evidence is mounting on the escalating costs of cancer care associated with family members who provide care to their loved one with cancer (Grunfeld et al., Canadian Medical Association Journal 170(12):1811–1812, 2004; Moore, Cancer Nursing 22(5):389–396, 1999; Muurinen, Medical Care 24(11):1007–1017, 1986). With a few exceptions, past research on the cost of cancer has been restricted to studying treatment, screening, or prevention costs (Sherman et al., Cancer 91(4):841–851, 2001; Stommel et al., Cancer 71(5):1867–1874, 1993). The majority of research related to the costs of cancer care for family caregivers has been associated with direct medical costs, and data from insurance companies, hospitals, and Medicare files have yielded significant findings. However, these same data sources have not been useful for determining the indirect costs borne by patients and their families. As a result, there is a growing need to capture the comprehensiveness of nonmedical costs associated with cancer care (Moore, Cancer Nursing 22(5):389–396, 1999; Sherman et al., Cancer 91(4), 841–851, 2001; Stommel et al., Cancer 71(5), 1867–1874, 1993).
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