Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Eligibility Criteria Contribute To Racial Disparities In Hospice Use

Date:
December 22, 2008
Source:
American Cancer Society
Summary:
A new study finds that hospice services -- care that is provided by physicians, visiting nurses, chaplains, home health aides, social workers and counselors -- have restrictions that reduce usage by many patients who are most in-need, particularly African-Americans.

A new study finds that hospice services—care that is provided by physicians, visiting nurses, chaplains, home health aides, social workers and counselors—have restrictions that reduce usage by many patients who are most in-need, particularly African Americans. The research, published in the February 1, 2009 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, indicates that the eligibility criteria for hospice services should be reconsidered.

In order to enroll in hospice, patients must have a prognosis of six months or less if their illness runs its usual course. They must also accept the palliative nature of hospice care. African American patients are less likely than white patients to use hospice, but the reasons for this difference have remained somewhat unknown.

In the current work, investigators at the University of Pennsylvania designed a study to explore the reasons for racial disparities in hospice care among cancer patients. To define and compare preferences for cancer treatment and perceived needs for hospice services among African-American patients and white patients, Dr. David Casarett and colleagues interviewed 283 patients who were receiving cancer treatment at six oncology clinics within the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Network. Patients were asked about their perceived need for five hospice services and their preferences for continuing cancer treatment, and they were followed for six months or until death. The researchers theorized that if disparities in hospice use were the result of preference for aggressive treatment among African Americans, then their rates of hospice use could be increased by redesigning hospice eligibility criteria. Conversely, if African Americans were less likely to want hospice services, then changes to the benefit may not be necessary, but modifications to the services that are offered may be warranted.

Dr. Casarett's team found that African-American patients had stronger preferences for continuing their cancer treatments as well as greater perceived needs for hospice services. The greater perceived need for hospice services among African Americans was attributed largely to differences in self-reported finances—poorer patients wanted more services.

"These findings suggest that the hospice eligibility criteria of Medicare and other insurers requiring patients to give up cancer treatment contribute to racial disparities in hospice use," the authors wrote. "Moreover, these criteria do not select those patients with the greatest needs for hospice services," they added.

The basis for these disparities is likely related to both cultural differences and economic characteristics. The results from this study indicate that hospice access could be made fairer by using eligibility criteria that are more directly need-based. For example, the investigators suggested that eligibility might be determined by assessing needs for specific hospice services such as pain or symptom management.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Cancer Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jessica Fishman, Peter O'Dwyer, Hien L. Lu, Hope Henderson, David A. Asch, and David J. Casarett. Race, treatment preferences, and hospice enrollment: Eligibility criteria may exclude patients with the greatest needs for care. Cancer, Published Online: December 22, 2008; Print February 1, 2009 DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24046

Cite This Page:

American Cancer Society. "Eligibility Criteria Contribute To Racial Disparities In Hospice Use." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222074603.htm>.
American Cancer Society. (2008, December 22). Eligibility Criteria Contribute To Racial Disparities In Hospice Use. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222074603.htm
American Cancer Society. "Eligibility Criteria Contribute To Racial Disparities In Hospice Use." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222074603.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins