Purpose This study aims to compare the economic-and patient-reported outcomes between outpatient home-based and inpatient hospital-based chemotherapy in advanced colorectal cancer patients. Methods A total of 80 patients from Severance Hospital in Seoul, Korea, who had stage III colorectal cancer and underwent home-based (n=40) or hospital-based chemotherapy (n=40) with a FOLFOX regimen between January 2007 and April 2008 were enrolled. Patient satisfaction data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire survey. Based on hospital charge records, average cost (in 2008 Korean won (KW)) per chemotherapy session was estimated and compared between home-and hospital-based chemotherapy from a societal perspective. Results Patients receiving chemotherapy at home showed higher satisfaction with their treatment (mean satisfaction score 3.58±0.15, 5-point Likert-type scale, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction) than did those treated at the hospital (3.23±0.21; p<0.01). After adjusting for differences in baseline characteristics between the two groups using multivariate analysis, those receiving home-based chemotherapy still showed significantly higher satisfaction than those undergoing hospital-based therapy (ß=0.271, p<0.001). Additionally, home-based therapy reduced the cost per chemotherapy session by 16.6%, compared with hospital-based treatment (1,694,216 versus 2,030,383 KW, 1,200 KW-1 US dollar). The largest cost reduction was attributable to medical costs (-201,122 KW), followed by caregiver's opportunity costs (-135,000 KW). Conclusions Higher satisfaction and lower economic cost for home-based chemotherapy suggests that home-based chemotherapy could be a popular and cost-effective treatment option for colorectal cancer patients who are eligible for home-based chemotherapy.
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