Crowdfunding in urology: Canadian perspective
Introduction: Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly used resource for patients to cover costs related to medical care. These costs can be related directly to treatments or indirectly to loss of income or travel-related costs. Little is known as to the extent of which crowdfunding is used for urological disease here in Canada. This study offers a first look at the prevalence of crowdfunding for urological disease and the factors surrounding its use.
Methods: In January 2020, we queried the GoFundMe internal search engine for fundraising campaigns regarding urological ailments. Results were categorized according to the major organs of urological disease.
Results: Crowdfunding campaigns are very prevalent within several areas of urology. Prostate cancer and chronic kidney disease represent the most frequent reason for campaigns. Fundraising goals and actual funds raised for malignant disease were significantly more than for benign disease. Interestingly, there was a significant portion of crowdfunding campaigns to cover costs for non-conventional treatments and transplant tourism.
Conclusions: Crowdfunding use to help cover direct and indirect costs of medical care is becoming increasingly apparent through several facets of medicine. This study shows that this statement holds true when looking at patients with urological disease in Canada. As urologists, we need to be aware of this trend, as it highlights the often-unforeseen financial burdens experienced by our patients.
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