Objectives: To study associations among employment, insurance status, and distress in gynecologic oncology patients; and to evaluate the impact of being unemployed or having no/Medicaid insurance on different distress problem areas. Methods: In this single institution, cross-sectional analysis of gynecologic oncology patients, we screened for distress and problem areas using the National Comprehensive Cancer Network distress thermometer and problem list at outpatient appointments between 6/2017–9/2017. Primary outcome was self-reported high distress (score ≥ 5). The distress problem list included 5 categories—practical, family, emotional, physical, and other. Employment status included employed, unemployed, homemaker, and retired. Logistic regression was used to predict high distress from employment and insurance statuses, adjusting for relevant covariates. Results: Of 885 women, 101 (11.4%) were unemployed, and 53 (6.0%) uninsured or had Medicaid coverage. One in five patients (n = 191, 21.6%) indicated high distress. Unemployed patients were more likely than employed to endorse high distress [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 3.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.2–5.7, p < 0.001]. Compared to employed patients, a greater proportion of unemployed patients endorsed distress related to practical (p < 0.05), emotional (p < 0.001), physical (p < 0.01), and other (p < 0.05) problems. Uninsured/Medicaid patients were more likely to endorse high distress (aOR = 2.8, 95% CI 1.5–5.1, p < 0.001) and report family (p < 0.001), emotional (p < 0.001), and other (p < 0.01) problems than patients who had Medicare/commercial insurance. Conclusions: Gynecologic oncology patients who are unemployed or have no/Medicaid insurance face high distress that appears to arise from issues beyond practical problems, including financial and/or insurance insecurities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-482
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Distress among gynecologic oncology patients
  • Financial toxicity
  • Underinsured
  • Unemployment


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