Disparities in End of Life Care for Elderly Lung Cancer Patients

Preethy Nayar, Fang Qiu, Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Eugene Boilesen, Hongmei Wang, Lina Lander, Monirul Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine geographic and race/ethnic disparities in access to end of life care among elderly patients with lung cancer. The study sample consisted of 91,039 Medicare beneficiaries with lung cancer who died in 2008. The key outcome measures included the number of emergency room visits, the number of inpatient admissions and the number of intensive care unit (ICU) days in the last 90 days of life, hospice care ever used and hospice enrollment within the last 3 days of life. Medicare beneficiaries with lung cancer residing in rural, remote rural, and micropolitan areas had more ER visits in the last 90 days of life as compared to urban residents. Urban residents however, had more ICU days in the last 90 days of life and were more likely to have ever used hospice as compared to residents of rural, remote rural and micropolitan counties. Racial minority lung cancer patients had more ICU days, ER visits and inpatient days than non-Hispanic White patients, and also were less likely to have ever used hospice care or be enrolled in hospice in the last 3 days of life. Lung cancer patients with very low socioeconomic status (SES) were less likely to ever use hospice or be enrolled in hospice care in the last 3 days of life, as compared to those who had very high SES. Geographic, racial and socioeconomic disparities in end of life care call for targeted efforts to address access barriers for these groups of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1012-1019
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 17 2014

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Keywords

  • End of life care
  • Lung cancer
  • Race/ethnic disparities
  • Rural/urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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