12ML – Addressing Financial Hardship Among Cancer Patients

Status: Filled – Elizabeth Ward
Intern: Elizabeth Ward
Faculty Name: margaret-liang
Primary Faculty Appointment: UAB
UAB/HA Department: UAB
Campus Address: 1700 6th Avenue South (Women & Infants Center), Room 10250
Telephone Number: (205) 934-4986
Email: mliang@uabmc.edu or Click to Send E-Mail
For how many summers have you served as a preceptor: 1
CCC Research Area: Cancer Control & Population Science
Number of hours per week that the preceptor will personally supervise or work with the intern: 5
Other faculty, staff, or graduate students who may help to supervise the intern:
1. Dr. Maria Pisu
Title of Project: 12ML – Addressing Financial Hardship Among Cancer Patients
Project Description:

Financial hardship affects 30-70% cancer patients and can be associated with psychological distress, health-related coping behaviors (i.e., poor adherence to treatment), and a negative impact on patients’ material conditions (i.e., losing income, debt, bankruptcy). At UAB, it is estimated that 50% of cancer patients experience financial distress based on surveys conducted among our gynecologic and breast cancer patients. Currently, limited data exists on best practices to help patients navigate their costs of care.

UAB O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center is accredited by the Committee on Cancer by the American College of Surgeons. Through this goal, we are focusing on addressing financial hardship as a barrier to care for our patients. This CaRES project will focus on several research and clinical practice change activities that we hope will improve financial navigation services to better serve our cancer patients. The CaRES student will gain experience conducting research as well as implementing programs throughout a health system. Our goal is for this project to result in more than one manuscript.

We will focus on 1) developing materials for staff training with staff input, 2) performing a literature review on the existing evidence on interventions to address financial hardship for a research manuscript and to inform financial navigation services here at UAB, 3) review existing patient-facing resources and perform qualitative studies with new cancer patients to learn more about how they interface with our health system in dealing with their costs of care, and 4) analyze financial hardship screening data that is already being implemented in GYN ONC and will be deployed across other disease sites.

Project Status: Will begin on or before the CaRES student’s start date
Location of Project: Birmingham, AL (UAB)
Proposed Start Date: May 3, 2021
Proposed End Date: August 27, 2021
Expected work schedule for intern: Flexible, intern can largely set his or her own schedule (as for students who are instructed how to proceed and are permitted to work independently with weekly guidance) and should contribute full-time effort.
Number of days that the student will be expected to come physically to UAB:
1 day or a few days as needed
Category of Project: Clinical (Patient Care) Research
Cancer topic: Multiple Cancer Sites
Does this project involve human subjects: Yes
Does this project involve animal subjects: No

Literature and existing resources review


Observations or interviews with new cancer patients to learn more about how they interface with our health system in dealing with their costs of care during the first few months of treatment (i.e., 3 patients)


Data analysis (with supervision) of financial hardship and other screening data at UAB

Preceptor will provide intern with access to the following: Office or desk space
Likelihood that intern will be included as an author on one or more publications related to this summer research project: Very likely
Areas in which the ideal candidates will have experience: Clinical Oncology, Interview Skills, Scientific Writing Skills, Statistics and Data Management, basic knowledge