Racial and ethnic disparities in palliative care utilization among gynecological cancer patients.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Palliative care (PC) is recommended for gynecological cancer patients to improve survival and quality-of-life. Our objective was to evaluate racial/ethnic disparities in PC utilization among patients with metastatic gynecologic cancer. METHODS: We used data from the 2016 National Cancer Database (NCDB) and included patients between ages 18-90 years with metastatic (stage III-IV) gynecologic cancers including, ovarian, cervical and uterine cancer who were deceased at last contact or follow-up (n = 124,729). PC was defined by NCDB as non-curative treatment, and could include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and pain management or any combination. We used multivariable logistic regression to evaluate racial disparities in PC use. RESULTS: The study population was primarily NH-White (74%), ovarian cancer patients (74%), insured by Medicare (47%) or privately insured (36%), and had a Charlson-Deyo score of zero (77%). Over one-third of patients were treated at a comprehensive community cancer program. Overall, 7% of metastatic gynecologic deceased cancer patients based on last follow-up utilized palliative care: more specifically, 5% of ovarian, 11% of cervical, and 12% of uterine metastatic cancer patients. Palliative care utilization increased over time starting at 4% in 2004 to as high as 13% in 2015, although palliative care use decreased to 7% in 2016. Among metastatic ovarian cancer patients, NH-Black (aOR:0.87, 95% CI:0.78-0.97) and Hispanic patients (aOR:0.77, 95% CI:0.66-0.91) were less likely to utilize PC when compared to NH-White patients. Similarly, Hispanic cervical cancer patients were less likely (aOR:0.75, 95% CI:0.63-0.88) to utilize PC when compared to NH-White patients. CONCLUSIONS: PC is highly underutilized among metastatic gynecological cancer patients. Racial disparities exist in palliative care utilization among patients with metastatic gynecological cancer.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Islam, JY; Deveaux, A; Previs, RA; Akinyemiju, T

Published Date

  • February 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 160 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 469 - 476

PubMed ID

  • 33276985

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8221248

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-6859

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.11.031


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States