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|Title||The Relationship Between Household Income and Patient-Reported Symptom Distress and Quality of Life in Children With Advanced Cancer: A Report From the PediQUEST Study.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Ilowite MF, Al-Sayegh H, Ma C, Dussel V, Rosenberg AR, Feudtner C, Kang TI, Wolfe J, Bona K|
|Date Published||2018 Sep 14|
BACKGROUND: Children with advanced cancer experience high symptom distress, which negatively impacts their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). To the authors' knowledge, the relationship between income and symptom distress and HRQOL is not well described.
METHODS: The Pediatric Quality of Life and Symptoms Technology (PediQUEST) multisite clinical trial evaluated an electronic patient-reported outcome system to describe symptom distress and HRQOL in children with advanced cancer via repeated surveys. The authors performed a secondary analysis of PediQUEST data for those children with available parent-reported household income (dichotomized at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and categorized as low income [<$50,000/year] or high income [≥$50,000/year]). The prevalence of the 5 most commonly reported physical and psychological symptoms was compared between groups. Multivariable generalized estimating equation models were used to test the association between household income and symptom distress and HRQOL.
RESULTS: A total of 78 children were included in the analyses: 56 (72%) in the high-income group and 22 (28%) in the low-income group. Low-income children were more likely to report pain than high-income children (64% vs 42%; P=.02). In multivariable models, children from low-income families demonstrated a uniform trend toward higher total (β =3.1; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], -0.08 to 6.2 [P=.06]), physical (β=3.8; 95% CI, -0.4 to 8.0 [P=.09]), and psychological (β=3.46; 95% CI, -1.91 to 8.84 [P=.21]) symptom distress compared with children from high-income families. Low income was associated with a uniform trend toward lower total (β=-7.9; 95% CI, -14.8, to -1.1 [P=.03]), physical (β=-11.2; 95% CI, -21.2 to -1.2 [P=.04]), emotional (β=-5.8; 95% CI, -13.6 to 2.0 [P=.15]), social (β=-2.52; 95% CI, -9.27 to 4.24 [P=.47]), and school (β=-9.8; 95% CI, -17.8 to -1.8 [P=.03]) HRQOL.
CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort of children with advanced cancer, children from low-income families were found to experience higher symptom burden and worse QOL.