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Financial hardship differences by LGBTQ+ status among assigned female at birth adolescent and young adult cancer survivors: a mixed methods analysis

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors are at an elevated risk of financial hardship. However, financial hardship among LGBTQ+ AYAs has not been widely explored. Thus, we used qualitative and quantitative survey data from the Horizon Study cohort to assess financial hardship of AYAs by LGBTQ+ status. Multivariable logit models, predicted probabilities, average marginal effects or differences in predicted probabilities (AME) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to assess the association of LGBTQ+ status and two components of financial hardship: material and psychological. Qualitative content analysis of an open-ended survey question about financial sacrifices was used to describe the third component of financial hardship, behavioral. Among 1,635 participants, 4.3% self-identified as LGBTQ+. Multivariable logit models controlling for demographic factors revealed that LGBTQ+ AYAs had an 18-percentage point higher probability of experiencing material financial hardship (95%CI 6-30%) and a 14-percentage point higher probability of experiencing psychological financial hardship (95%CI 2-26%) than non-LGBTQ+ AYAs. Controlling for economic factors attenuated the association of LGBTQ+ status with psychological financial hardship (AME = 11%; 95%CI – 1-23%), while the material financial hardship association remained statistically significant (AME = 14%; 95%CI 3-25%). In the qualitative analysis, LGBTQ+ AYAs frequently reported educational changes and costs (e.g., quitting school), unpaid bills and debt (e.g., medical debt, taking on credit card debt), as well as changes in housing and poor housing conditions (e.g., moving into less expensive house). LGBTQ + targeted and tailored interventions are needed to move toward equity for LGBTQ+ AYAs-an overlooked minority population.

Authors: Waters, Austin R;Kent, Erin E;Meernik, Clare;Getahun, Darios;Laurent, Cecile A;Xu, Lanfang;Mitra, Sara;Kushi, Lawrence H;Chao, Chun;Nichols, Hazel B

Cancer Causes Control. 2023 Jul 01.

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