Use of scheduled and unscheduled health services by cancer survivors and their caregivers

Alla Sikorskii, Chris Segrin, Tracy E. Crane, Pavani Chalasani, Waqas Arslan, Jessica Rainbow, Mary Hadeed, Charles Given, Terry A. Badger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose was to determine predictors of scheduled and unscheduled health services use by cancer survivors undergoing treatment and their informal caregivers. Methods: English- or Spanish-speaking adult cancer survivors undergoing chemotherapy or targeted therapy for a solid tumor cancer identified a caregiver (N = 380 dyads). Health services use over 2 months was self-reported by survivors and caregivers. Logistic regression models were used to relate the likelihood of service use (hospitalizations, emergency department [ED] or urgent care visits, primary care, specialty care) to social determinants of health (age, sex, ethnicity, level of education, availability of health insurance), and number of comorbid conditions. Co-habitation with the other member of the dyad and other member’s health services use were considered as additional explanatory variables. Results: Number of comorbid conditions was predictive of the likelihood of scheduled health services use, both primary care and specialty care among caregivers, and primary care among survivors. Greater probability of specialty care use was associated with a higher level of education among survivors. Younger age and availability of health insurance were associated with greater unscheduled health services use (hospitalizations among survivors and urgent care or ED visits among caregivers). Unscheduled health services use of one member of the dyad was predictive of use by the other. Conclusions: These findings inform efforts to optimize health care use by encouraging greater use of scheduled and less use of unscheduled health services. These educational efforts need to be directed especially at younger survivors and caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Cancer
  • Caregivers
  • Emergency department
  • Primary care
  • Specialty care
  • Survivors
  • Urgent care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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