74% of adults report barriers to traveling for specialty cancer care

A study published in JAMA Network Open examined what motivates cancer patients to move to specialized hospitals that offer superior safety as well as the barriers they face.

Researchers conducted an online survey asking respondents to consider complex cancer surgery at their local hospital or a hospital specializing in cancer care an hour away. They recruited 1,817 adults to participate in the survey, of which 1,016 completed the surveys. The research team conducted data analysis from Jan. 24 to Sept. 19.

Here are four findings:

1. Superior safety or oncologic outcomes, presented separately, motivated approximately 92 percent of respondents to travel for cancer care.

2. Respondents with income less than $25,000 and non-white respondents were more resistant to travel.

3. Seventy-four percent of respondents identified at least one barrier to travel, most commonly finance-related.

4. But 94 percent facing barriers would travel if provided facilitators, such as transportation and hotel arrangements.

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