Background: Cancer survivors increasingly report financial hardship as a consequence of the high cost of cancer care, yet the financial experience of rural cancer survivors remains largely unstudied. The purpose of this study was to investigate potential rural disparities in the likelihood of financial hardship and nonadherence to surveillance colonoscopy. Methods: Individuals diagnosed with localized or regional colorectal cancer between 2004 and 2012 were ascertained by the population-based New Mexico Tumor Registry. Participants completed a mailed questionnaire or telephone survey about their colorectal cancer survivorship experience, including treatment-related financial hardship and receipt of surveillance colonoscopy. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: Compared with urban colorectal cancer survivors (n 1/4 168), rural colorectal cancer survivors (n = 109) were slightly older; more likely to be married (65% vs. 59%) and have an annual income <$30,000 (37% vs. 27%); and less likely to be employed (35% vs. 41%), have a college degree (28% vs. 38%), or a high level of health literacy (39% vs. 51%). Rural survivors were twice as likely as urban survivors to report treatment-related financial hardship (OR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.06- 3.28) and nonadherence to surveillance colonoscopy guidelines (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.07-4.85). In addition, financial hardship was independently associated with nonadherence to surveillance colonoscopy (OR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.01- 4.85). Conclusions: Substantial rural disparities in the likelihood of financial hardship and nonadherence to surveillance colonoscopy exist. Impact: Treatment-related financial hardship among rural colorectal cancer survivors may negatively affect adherence to guideline-recommended follow-up care.
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