A cost analysis of a community-based support centre for cancer patients and their families in Ireland: the EVeCANs study

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Cancer patients and their families experience a range of physical, psychological and financial adverse effects. Community-based cancer centres offer a range of services and interventions, free of charge, to support those affected by cancer.
While shown to be effective, there is a lack of information on the costs of these services. Our aim was to estimate the resource impact of a community-based cancer support centre.

Over a 7-month period, there were 2032 contacts with 238 clients whose average age was 60 years. The most frequently used services were transport to treatment (20%), complementary therapies (48%), exercise classes (10%) and counselling (9%). This cost analysis estimated total annual cost to provide all services was €313,744. Average annual cost per person was €1138. Current uptake at the centre represents 8% of all cancer incidences in seven counties surrounding the centre. If uptake increases by 10%, scenario analyses predict an increase in total costs increase to €429,043 and a decrease in costs per patient to €915.

As cancer incidences increase, the need for supportive care is growing. Community-based services have been established to meet these needs and fill this gap in national health services. Long-term sustainability of these centres is uncertain as they are entirely reliant on donations and volunteers.

This analysis estimates the costs of one such community-based cancer support centre, for the first time in Ireland. Findings can be used to inform future planning of cancer supportive care services, including establishing links between tertiary and community-based centres, and cost effectiveness analyses, nationally and internationally.

This is taken from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-020-05508-8 as a public facing abstract.