The financial burden of accessing care for people with scleroderma in Canada: a patient-oriented, cross-sectional survey – CMAJ

July 12, 2023


Background: Patients with scleroderma require a lifetime of treatment and frequent contacts with rheumatologists and other health care professionals. Although publicly funded health care systems in Canada cover many costs, patients may still face a substantial financial burden in accessing care. The purpose of this study was to quantify out-of-pocket costs borne by people with scleroderma in Canada and compare this burden for those living in large communities and smaller communities.

Methods: We analyzed responses to a Web-based survey of people living in Canada with scleroderma. Respondents reported annual out-of-pocket medical, travel and accommodation and other nonmedical costs (2019 Canadian dollars). We used descriptive statistics to describe travel distance and out-of-pocket costs. We used a 2-part model to estimate the impact on out-of-pocket costs of living in a large urban centre (≥ 100 000 population), compared with smaller urban centres or rural areas (< 100 000 population). We generated combined mean estimates from the 2-part models using predictive margins.

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