Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Aged; Colorectal Neoplasms (drug therapy, psychology); Cross-Sectional Studies; Drug Therapy (methods, psychology); Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Odds Ratio; Risk Factors; Social Support; Surveys and Questionnaires


Importance: Approximately 38% of patients with advanced colorectal cancer do not receive chemotherapy. Objective: To determine whether cumulative social risk (ie, multiple co-occurring sociodemographic risk factors) is associated with lower receipt of chemotherapy among patients with advanced colorectal cancer and whether social support would moderate this association. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional, population-based, mailed survey study was conducted from 2012 to 2014. Participants were recruited between 2011 and 2014 from all adults within 1 year after diagnosis of stage III colorectal cancer in the Detroit, Michigan, and State of Georgia Surveillance, Epidemiology, End-Results cancer registries. Patients were eligible if they were aged 18 years or older, had undergone surgery 4 or more months ago, did not have stage IV cancer, and resided in the registry catchment areas. Data analyses were conducted from March 2017 to April 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was receipt of chemotherapy. Cumulative social risk represented a sum of 8 risk factors with the potential to drain resources from participants' cancer treatment (marital status, employment, annual income, health insurance, comorbidities, health literacy, adult caregiving, and perceived discrimination). Social support was operationalized as emotional support related to colorectal cancer diagnosis. Results: Surveys were mailed to 1909 eligible patients; 1301 completed the survey (response rate, 68%). A total of 1087 participants with complete data for key variables were included in the sample (503 women [46%]; mean [SD] age, 64 [13] years). Participants with 3 or more risk factors were less likely to receive chemotherapy than participants with 0 risk factors (3 factors, odds ratio [OR], 0.48 [95% CI, 0.26-0.87]; 4 factors, OR, 0.41 [95% CI, 0.21-0.78]; 5 factors, OR, 0.42 [95% CI, 0.20-0.87]; ≥6 factors, OR, 0.22 [95% CI, 0.09-0.55]). Participants with 2 or more support sources had higher odds of undergoing chemotherapy than those without social support (2 sources, OR, 3.05 [95% CI, 1.36-6.85]; 3 sources, OR, 3.24 [95% CI, 1.48-7.08]; 4 sources, OR, 3.69 [95% CI, 1.71-7.97]; 5 sources, OR, 4.40 [95% CI, 1.98-9.75]; ≥6 sources, OR 5.95 [95% CI, 2.58-13.74]). Within each social support level, participants were less likely to receive chemotherapy as cumulative social risk increased. Conclusions and Relevance: Cumulative social risk was associated with reduced receipt of chemotherapy. These associations were mitigated by social support. Assessing cumulative social risk may identify patients with colorectal cancer who are at higher risk for omitting chemotherapy who can be targeted for support programs to address social disadvantage and increase social support.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© 2021 Davis RE et al.JAMA Network Open. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License.

APA Citation

Davis, R., Trickey, A., Abrahamse, P., Kato, I., Ward, K., & Morris, A. (2021). Association of Cumulative Social Risk and Social Support With Receipt of Chemotherapy Among Patients With Advanced Colorectal Cancer. JAMA Network Open, 4(6), e2113533.