US study looks at outpatient palliative care referral patterns in oncologists
Understanding outpatient palliative care referrals among thoracic medical oncologists
For people with lung cancer, the likelihood and scheduling of referral to palliative care services is variable and relatively dependent on the age and experience of their oncologist, according to a recent study.
Using a retrospective cohort study design, researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reviewed data on consecutive advanced thoracic malignancy adult patients over a five-year period. The data of 1,642 deceased people seen by 26 medical oncologists were included in the study. The average age of the patient was 65 years; 54% were male; the majority of patients were diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (85%); most had metastatic disease (92%).
The findings suggested one in three patients were referred to palliative care services before death. With metastatic disease, younger and non-white race patients...
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