Lower Hospice Use for Minority Women With Ovarian Cancer

Members | April 20, 2017 | by Peter Notarstefano

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that women with ovarian cancer who were black or Hispanic tended to undergo more aggressive treatment and were less likely to elect hospice at the end of life even after controlling for factors like poverty, educational attainment, comorbidities, and geographic category of residence.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that women with ovarian cancer who were black or Hispanic tended to undergo more aggressive treatment and were less likely to elect hospice at the end of life even after controlling for factors like poverty, educational attainment, comorbidities, and geographic category of residence.

Researchers for this study gathered a sample of 3666 women in Texas aged 66 or older who died of ovarian cancer between 2000 and 2012. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of the study group were enrolled in hospice before they died, but just 64% actually died in hospice, as 11% of the hospice enrollees unenrolled sometime before death. The most common care outcome in the final 30 days of life was receiving an invasive procedure (23%), while 16% of patients were admitted to the ICU and 14% were admitted to the hospital more than once.

In other studies, obesity or veteran status have been shown to influence the likelihood of a terminally ill patient using hospice care. It is important that awareness and access to hospice be in place for all individuals needing end of life care.