Latina, Asian Women With Gynecologic Cancers Are Less Likely to Use Palliative Care
Only 4%–9% of patients with ovarian or cervical cancer use palliative care, but the numbers are much lower for Hispanic and Asian women than for non-Hispanic White women, according to researchers’ findings reported in Data in Brief (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dib.2020.106705).
Using data from patients with metastatic gynecologic cancers in the 2016 National Cancer Database for two separate analyses of 176,899 and 66,781 patients, respectively, researchers found that only 5% used palliative care: 4% with ovarian cancer, 9% with cervical cancer, and 11% with uterine cancer. However, when broken down by racial groups, the researchers found that Hispanic and Asian women used palliative care only about 3% and 6% of the time for ovarian or cervical cancer, respectively. Usage was also lower for Hispanic women with uterine cancer (9%), but not Asian women.
“This analysis illustrates disparities in palliative care use among metastatic gynecological cancer patients exist, indicating unequal treatment among cancer patients by race/ethnicity," the researchers wrote (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dib.2020.106705). “Our results can be used as rationale to develop and implement interventions to improve equitable provision of palliative care among gynecologic cancer patients in the United States.”
Oncology nurses have a responsibility to help patients with cancer understand their palliative care options. Find ideas and strategies for discussing palliative care with your patients through ONS (http://ons.org/clinical-practice-resources/palliative-care-communication-strategies).