Study protocol for a single-centre observational study of household wellbeing and poverty status following a diagnosis of advanced cancer in blantyre, malawi - ‘Safeguarding the family’ study [version 1; peer review: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations]

Maya Jane Bates, Adamson Muula, Stephen B. Gordon, Marc Y.R. Henrion, Ewan Tomeny, Peter MacPherson, Bertel Squire, Louis Niessen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Many households in low-and-middle income countries face the additional burden of crippling out-of-pocket expenditure when faced with a diagnosis of life-limiting illness. Available evidence suggests that receipt of palliative care supports cost-savings for cancer-affected households. This study will explore the relationship between receipt of palliative care, total household out-of-pocket expenditure on health and wellbeing following a first-time diagnosis of advanced cancer at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Protocol: Patients and their primary family caregivers will be recruited at the time of cancer diagnosis. Data on healthcare utilisation, related costs, coping strategies and wellbeing will be gathered using new and existing questionnaires (the Patient-and-Carer Cancer Cost Survey, EQ-5D-3L and the Integrated Palliative Care Outcome Score). Surveys will be repeated at one, three and six months after diagnosis. In the event of the patient’s death, a brief five-item questionnaire on funeral costs will be administered to caregivers not less than two weeks following the date of death. Descriptive and Poisson regression analyses will assess the relationship between exposure to palliative care and total household expenditure from baseline to six months. A sample size of 138 households has been calculated in order to detect a medium effect (as determined by Cohen’s f=0.15) of receipt of palliative care in a regression model for change in total household out-of-pocket expenditure as a proportion of annual household income. Ethics and dissemination: The study has received ethical approval. Results will be reported using STROBE guidelines and disseminated through scientific meetings, open access publications and a national stakeholder meeting. Conclusions: This study will provide data on expenditure for healthcare by households affected by cancer in Malawi. We also explore whether receipt of palliative care is associated with a reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure at household level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalWellcome Open Research
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Cancer
  • Cost of illness
  • Economic burden
  • Malawi
  • Non-communicable disease
  • Out of pocket
  • Palliative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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