Meredith Doherty, PhD, LCSW │ Work-in-Progress Research Seminar
June 30 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Join us for a Work-in-Progress Research Seminar with Meredith Doherty, PhD, LCSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Non-Profit Leadership, School of Social Policy & Practice at Penn. This event is hosted by CHIBE and the Perelman School of Medicine’s Division of Health Policy.
June 30, 2022
12:00-1:00 PM EST
Hybrid: 1104 Blockley Hall or https://pennmedicine.zoom.us/j/96178965288
“The Guaranteed Income and Financial Treatment Trial (GIFTT)”
At least one-in-three cancer patients experience cancer-related financial hardship during the course of their treatment. Cancer-related financial hardship has been associated with anxiety and depression, greater pain and symptom burden, and treatment nonadherence. Cancer patients are at a high risk for bankruptcy, an event that has been linked to a threefold increase in the likelihood of early mortality. Financial hardship has been identified across the socioeconomic spectrum of cancer patients, but women, people of color, and low-income families experience financial hardship more often and with greater severity. High out-of-pocket healthcare costs and lost income are the primary drivers of financial hardship in the general cancer-affected population. However, income loss is a pronounced risk factor for low-wage workers who tend to work in sectors that lack adequate employment and income protection programs during periods of disability. Conditions of material deprivation, one domain of the social determinants of health, are robustly associated with a host of adverse health outcomes and are a critical driver of cancer health disparities.
The impact of cancer-related financial hardship on patients’ health and wellbeing has been well documented, however there has been little progress in developing scalable mitigation strategies. Guaranteed income, a form of unconditional cash assistance, has produced positive health effects in healthy adult populations, but has not yet been evaluated as an intervention to address the financial burden of illnesses like cancer. In-kind needs assistance for housing, food, transportation, and utilities is more commonly available to financially burdened cancer patients within routine care, however effectiveness research is limited. The Guaranteed Income and Financial Treatment Trial (GIFTT) is a three-arm randomized controlled trial that will evaluate the effectiveness of unconditional cash versus in-kind assistance (relative to treatment as usual) in reducing the financial toxicity of low-income cash patients. GIFTT aims to generate evidence on the relative impact of cash and in-kind assistance on the health and financial well-being of low-income cancer patients and their families.
Dr. Doherty will discuss the background, significance, aims and methods of the GIFTT Trial, as well as the administrative challenges of providing unconditional cash to low-income cancer patients.
About Dr. Doherty:
Meredith Doherty, PhD, LCSW, conducts mixed-method community engaged methods to study the relationship between economic security and health in low-income communities. She applies her clinical experience as a palliative care social worker in the safety-net community hospital setting to develop, test, and implement health-related social needs interventions for people facing serious illness. She currently studies multilevel interventions that aim to prevent or reduce the financial burden of cancer, and is one of the Principal Investigators of the Guaranteed Income and Financial Treatment (GIFT) Trial, the first randomized controlled trial of guaranteed income for low-income cancer patients. In addition to her work on guaranteed income, she uses principles from behavioral economics and implementation science to improve the reach of best practices in oncology social work and financial advocacy. She is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2), a co-PI at the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at SP2, a Leonard Davis Institute Senior Fellow, a member of the Innovation Faculty at the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation, and a full member of the Abramson Cancer Center Division of Cancer Control.