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Patient Educ Couns. 2019 Jan 2. pii: S0738-3991(18)30694-3. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2019.01.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Racial/ethnic differences in prognosis communication during initial inpatient palliative care consultations among people with advanced cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Consumer Science, Purdue University, 812W. State St., West Lafayette, IN 47907, United States of America. Electronic address: lingerso@purdue.edu.
2
Department of Consumer Science, Purdue University, 812W. State St., West Lafayette, IN 47907, United States of America.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We examined whether conversations involving Black or Latino patients with advanced cancer differ in the presence or characteristics of prognosis communication.

METHODS:

We audio-recorded initial consultations between 54 palliative care clinicians and 231 hospitalized people with advanced cancer. We coded for the presence and characteristics of prognosis communication. We examined whether the presence or characteristics of prognosis communication differed by patients' self-reported race/ethnicity.

RESULTS:

In 231 consultations, 75.7% contained prognosis communication. Prognosis communication was less than half as likely to occur during conversations with Black or Latino patients (N = 48) compared to others. Among consultations in which prognosis was addressed, those involving Black or Latino patients were more than 8 times less likely to contain optimistically cued prognoses compared to others.

CONCLUSION:

Prognosis communication occurred less frequently for Black and Latino patients and included fewer optimistic cues than conversations with other patients. More work is needed to better understand these observed patterns of prognosis communication that vary by race and ethnicity.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Growing evidence supports prognosis communication being important for end-of-life decision-making and disproportionately rare among non-White populations. Therefore, our findings identify a potentially salient target for clinical interventions that are focused on ameliorating disparities in end-of-life care.

KEYWORDS:

Disparities; Palliative care; Prognosis communication; Race

PMID:
30642715
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2019.01.002

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