Friday, January 13, 2023: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Paradise Valley, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Julie Birkenmaier, PhD, Saint Louis University
Behavioral choices effect health and mental health outcomes; however, choices are greatly influenced by socioeconomic conditions, or the social determinants of health and mental health (Landord et al., 2022; Schickedanz et al., 2015). In particular, financial strain is noted as a domain of health-related social needs (Magnan, 2021). The experience of strain exists independent of income and assets (Grafova, 2018). Financial strain has been linked to higher rates of obesity, smoking, chronic health conditions, poor overall health status, and premature mortality (Avendano et al., 2009; Schickedanz et al., 2015). Financial strain can be the result of fewer financial resources that leads to less access to healthcare and adherence to treatment. For example, financial strain can limit the effectiveness of medical disease management when patients cannot see their physician regularly nor afford their medications (Collins, 2015). Financial strain may result in greater uncertainty about financial resource sufficiency, which may elevate stress, resulting in poorer health outcomes. Financial strain also has a detrimental impact on mental health outcomes, such as anxiety and depression. Research has documented this relationship for unsecured debt (e.g., credit card debt), mortgage debt, and general inability to pay current financial obligations. In response to the body of research about these relationships, innovative programming has emerged in recent years to integrate finances into healthcare services. For example, medical-financial partnerships integrate clinical and community data and resources to decrease poverty and improve access to financial services (Beck et al., 2019). Other interventions include an online tool to facilitate financial benefits for patients (Aery et al, 2017), and peer-to-peer financial interventions (Pinto et al., 2020). However, significant unresolved questions about the relationships between financial strain and health and mental health remain. In particular, there are few guidelines for the types of financial information that healthcare providers should gather and pay attention to regarding their potential impact on health and mental health. This symposium provides four papers that examine important aspects of finances critical to healthcare delivery; credit scores, financial hardships, and unmanageable debt. First, Are Credit Scores and Financial Well-being Associated with Physical Health, examines these relationships to learn more about the importance of patient credit score and financial well-being to health outcomes. The second paper, Characterizing Financial Strain Among Informal Cancer Caregivers: Results from the 2020 Caregiving in America Survey,Ãï¿½ provides new insights to help inform healthcare workers about the importance of screening for financial hardship when working with the cancer patients and their caregivers. Turning to mental health, Financial Hardships and Mental Health Crisis: A National Examination of Young Adults' COVID-19 Pandemic Experiences, examines the associations between financial strain and suicide ideation and attempts among youth during the pandemic. The fourth paper, Associations Among Anxiety, Student Loan Repayment and Financial Knowledge, sheds light on the relationship between mental health status and loan repayment. Together, these four papers provide insights on the intersection of finances and physical and mental health useful for healthcare screening and service delivery.
* noted as presenting author
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