Societal impacts of treatment of early breast cancer: implications for future research, policy and practice
Jun 11, 2019
RAND Europe conducted a study on the societal impact of early breast cancer. This study was divided into three interconnected phases, which together aim to enrich the evidence base on the broader health, societal and economic impacts of treatment of early breast cancer, using a mixed methods approach. In the third phase of our programme we undertook a qualitative study using desk research and key informant interviews to explore the factors affecting access to and delivery of treatment for early breast cancer in order to identify what works and what can be improved. We focused on five countries (Brazil, Canada, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), and also present insights at a supranational level — for example policy and practice in the European Union — and make broader comments on factors affecting low and middle-income countries. We found that differences within countries are often related to regional discrepancies that arise from a decentralised structure of the healthcare system that has an impact on the financing, implementation, and/or delivery of care. We found that cultural and socioeconomic factors, such as a person's education or income, also affect equal access to treatment within an individual country. In all countries considered, breast cancer is a disease that benefits from strong patient advocacy, which has played an important role in raising the profile of breast cancer with patients, policymakers and the public, both at a national and international level. However, there is still little awareness of the impact of disease progression on society.
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