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Indian J Palliat Care. 2018 Oct-Dec;24(4):496-499. doi: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_72_18.

An Observational Study to Assess the Socioeconomic Status and Demographic Profile of Advanced Cancer Patients Receiving Palliative Care in a Tertiary-Level Cancer Hospital of Eastern India.

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1
Palliative Care Unit, Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Abstract

Introduction:

Socioeconomic status (SES) comprises of not just gross income but also educational qualification, financial security and individual perceptions of social status and class. It has been observed that people with low SES have less access and utilization of palliative care services. With this background, this observational study was carried out at SGCCRI to assess and evaluate the SES of patients attending the palliative care department and analyse the major social concerns of patients in the last days of life.

Objectives:

Assessment of socio- economic status and demographic profile of patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative care.

Materials and Methods:

From May 2017 to October 2017 we assessed the demographic features and socio-economic status of 80 advanced cancer patients receiving palliative care by interviewing them face to face with the help of a self designed social assessment sheet.

Results:

A total of 80 patients consented to be interviewed with regards to assessment of their socio-economic conditions. Majority were male patients (64%) with the highest percentage in the age group of 60-70years (33%). 38% of the patients interviewed were from rural surroundings. Only 38% of the patients had completed their basic education. Approximately 30% of the patients interviewed had income less than 1lakh/month while majority (>60%) had income in the bracket of 1lakh- 2lakh. In 30% of cases, the patient was the sole earner in the family.

Conclusion:

It was observed that majority of patients and their family were constrained with regards to financial resources and large percentage of patients had social insecurity with respect to future of family members.

KEYWORDS:

Demographics; palliative care; socioeconomic status

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