Understanding causes and impacts of financial toxicity among cancer patients, survivors, and their families in the United Kingdom (GIFT)

Year of award: 2023


  • Dr Ngan Tran

    Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

Project summary

Financial toxicity (FT) refers to the objective financial burden and subjective financial distress that occurs as a result of cancer treatment. In the United Kingdom (UK) which has a publicly funded health system, evidence suggests that objective financial burden comes mostly from direct non-medical costs (e.g., fuel for transportation, heating, special foods) and indirect non-medical costs (e.g., loss of income). People living with cancer and faced with FT may experience worse financial well-being (e.g., loss of savings, increased dependency on borrowing, and failure to make mortgage payments), lower health-related quality of life, and additional mental health problems (e.g., psychological stress and anxiety). The ongoing rapid rise in energy costs and increased likelihood of a recession are likely to make the situation critical in the short to medium term as household budgets generally come under increased pressure. Therefore, there is an urgent need to examine FT, understand its effects and potential mitigations within a changing economic environment. This research aims to investigate the situation, causes and consequences of FT for UK cancer patients, survivors, and their families during a cost-of-living crisis as well as potential solutions. The analysis and improved understanding will inform measures that may mitigate the impact of FT.