Background: Adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors experience psychological distress often because of cancer and its treatment. However, no prior studies have evaluated the additional medical expenditures and health care utilization associated with psychological distress in AYA cancer survivors. Methods: AYA cancer survivors and a comparison matched group of adults with no history of cancer were identified from 2011-2016 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data. Medical expenditures and health care utilization were evaluated with multivariable regression models. Results: AYA cancer survivors were more likely to have psychological distress (11.5% of 1757) than adults with no history of cancer (5.8% of 5227). The prevalence of psychological distress was found to be high many years after the diagnosis, with 11.2% reporting distress ≥20 years after their cancer diagnosis. AYA cancer survivors with psychological distress were more likely to smoke and have chronic conditions and were less likely to exercise regularly in comparison with AYAs with no history of psychological distress. AYA cancer survivors with psychological distress had additional annual medical expenses ($4415; 95% CI, $993-$9690), office visits (2.80; 95% CI, 0.23-6.15), and use of prescription medications/medication renewals (11.58; 95% CI, 5.70-19.47) in comparison with AYA cancer survivors without psychological distress. Additional annual medical expenses of psychological distress were $2600 higher in AYA cancer survivors than adults without a history of cancer ($1802; 95% CI, $440-$3791). Conclusions: These results highlight the substantial economic burden associated with psychological distress in AYA cancer survivors. This research could inform survivorship care plans and interventions addressing the psychological needs of AYA cancer survivors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research