Author(s): Sarna L, McCorkle R
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Abstract PURPOSE: Although direct costs for treatment are important considerations in healthcare planning, the indirect costs of chronic care may have an even more profound impact on families. The burden of care of chronic illnesses is seldom addressed in healthcare policies. This article uses lung cancer as a model to illustrate the burden of care of chronic illness and to examine the many healthcare problems that affect patients, families, and society at large. OVERVIEW: Lung cancer, as a major cause of morbidity and mortality, and the second most expensive cost of cancer care, will impact more than 1 million Americans and their families in the next decade. In this article, a health services model is used to address burden of care for people with lung cancer. Predisposing factors, enabling factors, and need for healthcare are considered. Lung cancer literature related to emotional status, functional status, and symptom distress are reviewed as they relate to the physical, emotional, and social aspects of the burden of care. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The increasing responsibilities of the family in providing care in the face of limited external support, and the consequences of that caregiving, for the patient and family, raise serious concerns for clinicians. With quality of life as the ultimate health outcome, clinicians are challenged to contribute to a research and policy agenda that addresses burden of care.
This article was published in Cancer Pract
and referenced in Journal of Pediatric Neurology and Medicine