Development and validation of a patient-reported outcome tool to assess cancer-related financial toxicity in Italy: a protocol

S. Riva, J. Bryce, F. De Lorenzo, L. Del Campo, M. Di Maio, F. Efficace, L. Frontini, D. Giannarelli, L. Gitto, E. Iannelli, C. Jommi, V. Montesarchio, F. Traclo, C. M. Vaccaro, C. Gallo, F. Perrone

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INTRODUCTION: Financial toxicity (FT) is a well-recognised problem in oncology. US-based studies have shown that: (a) cancer patients have a 2.7 times risk of bankruptcy; (b) patients who declare bankruptcy have a 79% greater hazard of death; (c) financial burden significantly impairs quality of life (QoL) and (d) reduces compliance and adherence to treatment prescriptions. The aim of the project is to develop and validate a patient-reported-outcome (PRO) measure to assess FT of cancer patients in Italy, where, despite the universal health coverage provided by the National Health Service, FT is an emerging issue. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Our hypothesis is that a specific FT measure, which considers the relevant sociocultural context and healthcare system, would allow us to understand the main determinants of cancer-related FT in Italy, in order to address and reduce these factors. According to the International Society for Pharmaco-economics and Outcomes Research guidelines on PROs, the project will include the following steps: (1) concept elicitation (from focus groups with patients and caregivers; literature; oncologists; nurses) and analysis, creating a coding library; (2) item generation (using a format that includes a question and a response on a 4-point Likert scale) and analysis through patients' cognitive interviews of item importance within different coding categories to produce the draft instrument; (3) factor analysis and internal validation (with Cronbach's alpha and test-retest for reliability) to produce the final instrument; (4) external validation with QoL anchors and depression scales. The use of the FT measure in prospective trials is also planned. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The protocol is approved by the ethical committees of all the participating centres. The project will tentatively produce a validated tool by the spring 2021. The project might also represent a model and the basis for future cooperation with other European countries, with different healthcare systems and socioeconomic conditions. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT03473379.
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)e031485-2019-031485
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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