Financial hardship from cancer is prevalent among people with cancer and related to several adverse
intermediate and health outcomes, including quality of life, treatment adherence, and survival. Communication
about out of pocket costs early in the treatment trajectory could help to prevent or lessen financial hardship.
CAFÉ is a randomized trial with step wedge design to test the novel CAFÉ (Cancer Financial Experience)
intervention. The intervention is based on the research team's prior studies, informed by a conceptual
framework of how patient-centered communication can improve health, and designed with clinic team
members and patients using human-centered design methods. Our aims are:
Aim 1: Compare self-reported financial hardship and between patients receiving the CAFÉ intervention versus
a comparison group at 12-month follow up.
Aim 1a: Compare self-reported health-related quality of life between patients receiving the CAFÉ
intervention versus a comparison group at 12-month follow up.
Aim 2: Compare health service use between patients receiving the CAFÉ intervention versus a comparison
group at 12-month follow up.
Aim 3: Assess patient-level factors influencing variability in dose of the CAFÉ intervention.
Newly diagnosed cancer patients (n=750) will be randomized to receive either (a) a resource sheet listing
financial support resources or (b) a financial navigator-based intervention that will include 6 months of
personalized outreach and assistance with cost concerns, including coordination with the oncology team,
provision of out of pocket cost estimates to support shared clinical decision-making, patient planning and
budgeting, and referral to financial assistance resources as needed. Oncology clinics in two integrated health
systems in the Pacific Northwest (Kaiser Permanente Washington and Kaiser Permanente Northwest) will be
the setting for the study. Our primary outcome of interest is financial distress at 12-month follow-up. Secondary
outcomes include health-related quality of life, financial hardship due to cancer, patient assessment of
communication experiences, and time to initiation of treatment.
The CAFÉ study represents one of the first trials of an intervention focused on mitigating patient financial
hardship. It is theory-informed and clinic-based, aligned with patient preferences, and has been developed
following extensive stakeholder input. By design, it will provide high quality prospective evidence on the
potential benefits of cost of care communication on patient-relevant cancer outcomes.
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