Caregiver costs and financial burden in caregivers of African American cancer survivors

Theresa A. Hastert, Jaclyn M. Kyko, Julie J. Ruterbusch, Jamaica R.M. Robinson, Charles S. Kamen, Jennifer L. Beebe-Dimmer, Mrudula Nair, Hayley S. Thompson, Ann G. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: People with cancer commonly rely on loved ones as informal caregivers during and after treatment. Costs related to caregiving and their association with caregiver financial burden are not well understood. Methods: Results include data from 964 caregivers of African American cancer survivors in the Detroit Research on Cancer Survivors (ROCS) cohort. Caregiving costs include those related to medications, logistics (e.g., transportation), and medical bills. Financial burden measures included caregiver financial resources, strain, and difficulty paying caregiving costs. Prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of associations between costs and high financial burden were calculated using modified Poisson models controlling for caregiver characteristics. Results: Caregivers included spouses (36%), non-married partners (8%), family members (48%), and friends (9%). Nearly two-thirds (64%) of caregivers reported costs related to caregiving. Logistical costs were the most common (58%), followed by medication costs (35%) and medical bills (17%). High financial hardship was reported by 38% of caregivers. Prevalence of high financial hardship was 52% (95% CI: 24%, 86%) higher among caregivers who reported any versus no caregiver costs. Associations between caregiver costs and high financial burden were evident for costs related to medications (PR: 1.33, 95% CI: 1.12, 1.58), logistics (PR: 1.57, 95% CI: 1.29, 1.92), and medical bills (PR: 1.57, 95% CI: 1.28, 1.92). Conclusions: Most caregivers experienced costs related to caregiving, and these costs were associated with higher prevalence of high caregiver financial burden. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Informal caregivers experience financial hardship related to cancer along with cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-574
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Cancer caregiving
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Costs
  • Financial burden
  • Financial hardship


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