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J Palliat Med. 2013 Nov;16(11):1329-34. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2013.9468. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

Racial and ethnic disparities in palliative care.

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1 Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Center for Palliative Care, Duke University , Durham, North Carolina.


Racial and ethnic disparities in health care access and quality are well documented for some minority groups. However, compared to other areas of health care, such as disease prevention, early detection, and curative care, research in disparities in palliative care is limited. Given the rapidly growing population of minority older adults, many of whom will face advanced serious illness, the availability of high-quality palliative care that meets the varied needs of older adults of all races and ethnicities is a priority. This paper reviews existing data on racial and ethnic disparities in use of and quality of palliative care and outlines priorities for future research.

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