How depression affects the medication cost burden for elderly cancer survivors has not been well studied. This study aims to investigate whether depression is associated with higher rates of cost-related medication nonadherence, and cost-reduction strategies among the elderly cancer survivors. Self-reports from survey files of the 2015 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey-Medicare database were used to identify elderly cancer patients aged 65 years and older with and without depression. The 2 outcomes were cost-related nonadherence (CRN) and adoption of cost-reduction strategies. Bivariate analysis was used to describe the sample. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to examine the impact of depression on CRN and the use of cost-reduction strategies, after controlling for all other covariates. Among the 3765 elderly cancer survivors identified, 523 (14%) reported depression. In the group with depression, 26% reported CRN compared with 12% of the group without depression; 71% of individuals with depression reported having cost-reduction strategies while 65% of individuals with no depression reported such activity. In adjusted analyses, individuals with depression were significantly more likely to report CRN (adjusted odds ratio, 1.84; 95% confidence interval 1.33-2.54) and cost-reduction strategies (adjusted odds ratio, 1.37; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.76). Depression was associated with higher probabilities of both CRN and the adoption of cost-reduction strategies, indicating that depression can exacerbate the medication cost burden for elderly cancer survivors. It is important to detect and manage depression in elderly cancer survivors to reduce CRN and cost-reduction strategies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Leadership and Management
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health