The impact of cancer on the physical function of the elderly and their utilization of health care CANCER Stafford, R. S., Cyr, P. L. 1997; 80 (10): 1973-1980


Controversy about whether cancer has an independent impact on patient quality of life led the authors to evaluate the effects of cancer on a range of quality-of-life and health care utilization measures within an elderly population.The authors analyzed a nationally representative sample of 9745 elderly community-based Medicare beneficiaries sampled in the 1991 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. Of these, 1647 reported being diagnosed by a physician as having a malignancy that was not of the skin. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify the independent predictors of functional limitation, poor health status, health care utilization, and patient satisfaction with medical care.Cancer was reported by 17% of the elderly. Individuals with cancer reported poorer health, more limitations of the activities of daily living (ADLs) and the instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and greater health care utilization than individuals without cancer. For individuals with cancer, difficulty walking (38%) and getting out of a chair (21%) were the most commonly reported ADL limitations, whereas difficulty completing heavy housework (34%) and shopping (17%) were the most common IADL limitations. Carcinomas of the lung, prostate, and colon independently predicted poorer health status. Lung carcinoma was independently associated with more ADL limitations. Lung, bladder, and prostate carcinomas predicted increased health care utilization. Overall, cancer patients were at least as satisfied with their medical care as those without cancer.Cancer increased the use of health care resources and modestly reduced physical function. By identifying specific connections between cancer and physical function, these findings have implications for improving cancer care.

View details for Web of Science ID A1997YE28600015

View details for PubMedID 9366301