Financial Toxicity Impacts Symptom Burden

Financial toxicity can have an impact on patients' anxiety and depression, but oncology nurses can help.

Financial burden affects many cancer survivors, making them more prone to experience depression or anxiety, according to Raymond Chan, PhD, RN, BN, MAppSc, professor of cancer nursing at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

Since oncology nurses are often at the forefront of patient care, they are in a prime position to discuss financial toxicity with their patients and intervene, if needed.


The impact is huge. What we actually observe is that some patients can actually go to the extent of foregoing treatment. In this particular work that I am presenting this year at ONS Congress, is on the relationship around financial toxicity and symptom burden, and in particular, what we found is that there are at least 2 big studies, one in the 600s and the other one over 1,000, of cancer survivors. They reported that people who have experienced financial distress are 3 times more likely than people who have not, to experience depression and anxiety. So that in itself is a huge implication for oncology nurses and we are well placed to intervene.