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J Palliat Med. 2012 Feb;15(2):149-53. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2011.0220. Epub 2012 Feb 7.

The role of race and ethnicity in predicting length of hospice care among older adults.

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  • 1University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA. nanpark@usf.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of the study was to examine both direct and interactive roles of race/ethnicity with patients' characteristics (age, gender, relationship with caregiver, diagnosis, referral source, and payment type) in predicting length of hospice care.

METHOD:

This study included a total of 16,323 patients 65 years of age and older (M(age)=81.4, SD=8.3) who were served by a hospice in central Florida during a four-year period, 2002-2006. Survival analyses were conducted using the Cox proportional hazards model to predict the length of hospice care and test the interaction effects of race/ethnicity.

RESULTS:

The majority of subjects (83.5%) were white, 7.6% were African-American, and 8.9% were Hispanic. During the study period, 58.5% died. All patient characteristics were significantly associated with the length of hospice care (pā€‰<ā€‰.05). Overall, Hispanics had the longest hospice stay (M=98.84 days), followed by African-Americans (M=90.29) and whites (M=88.20). With the exception of African-American women who were no more likely to stay longer under hospice care than African-American men, the women in this study stayed longer under hospice care than men did. Patients referred from long-term care (LTC) settings had shorter stays in hospice care compared to those referred by physicians in other settings. Additionally, African-Americans and Hispanics referred from LTC had significantly shorter hospice stays than those referred by primary physicians.

CONCLUSION:

In this limited sample of hospice patients, length of stay was longer for minority patients than white patients.

PMID:
22313431
DOI:
10.1089/jpm.2011.0220
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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