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Incidence of Catastrophic Health Expenditure and Its Determinants in Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Leila Doshmangir (), Edris Hasanpoor (), Gerard Abou Jaoude (), Behzad Eshtiagh () and Hassan Haghparast-Bidgoli ()
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Leila Doshmangir: Tabriz University of Medical Sciences
Edris Hasanpoor: Maragheh University of Medical Sciences
Behzad Eshtiagh: University College London
Hassan Haghparast-Bidgoli: Tabriz University of Medical Sciences

Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, 2021, vol. 19, issue 6, No 6, 839-855

Abstract: Abstract Background Cancer is the third leading cause of mortality in the world, and cancer patients are more exposed to financial hardship than other diseases. This paper aimed to review studies of catastrophic healthcare expenditure (CHE) in cancer patients, measure their level of exposure to CHE, and identify factors associated with incidence of CHE. Methods This study is a systematic review and meta-analysis. Several databases were searched until February 2020, including MEDLINE, Web of Science, Scopus, ProQuest, ScienceDirect and EMBASE. The results of selected studies were extracted and analyzed using a random effects model. In addition, determinants of CHE were identified. Results Among the 19 studies included, an average of 43.3% (95% CI 36.7–50.1) of cancer patients incurred CHE. CHE varied substantially depending on the Human Development Index (HDI) of the country in which a study was conducted. In countries with the highest HDI, 23.4% of cancer patients incurred CHE compared with 67.9% in countries with the lowest HDI. Key factors associated with incidence of CHE at the household level included household income, gender of the household head, and at the patient level included the type of health insurance, education level of the patient, type of cancer and treatment, quality of life, age and sex. Conclusion The proportion of cancer patients that incur CHE is very high, especially in countries with lower HDI. The results from this review can help inform policy makers to develop fairer and more sustainable health financing mechanisms, addressing the factors associated with CHE in cancer patients.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s40258-021-00672-2

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