Disparities Associated With Inpatient Palliative Care Utilization by Patients With Metastatic Gynecologic Cancers: A Study of 3337 Women

Document Type


Publication Date

April 2018


Obstetrics and Gynecology


OBJECTIVE: To determine the factors associated with inpatient palliative care (PC) use in patients with metastatic gynecologic cancer. METHODS: Data were obtained from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) for patients with metastatic cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancers. Chi-square and multivariate models were used for statistical analyses. RESULTS: Of 67 947 inpatients with metastatic gynecologic cancer, 3337 (5%) utilized PC (median age: 63 years, range: 18-102 years). For the entire cohort, the majority was white (59%) and the remainder was black (10%), Hispanic (8%), and Asian (3%). Sixty-one percent had ovarian, 25% uterine, and 14% cervical cancers. Forty-four percent had Medicare, 37% private insurance, 12% Medicaid, and 3% were uninsured. Fifty-three percent of patients were treated at teaching hospitals, while 33% were treated at nonteaching hospitals. In multivariate analysis, the use of PC was associated with older age (>/=63, median; odds ratio [OR] = 1.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.36-1.70; P < .0001) and black race (OR = 1.22, CI: 1.08-1.39; P < .01). Compared to patients with ovarian cancer, patients with uterine (OR = 1.63, CI: 1.46-1.83; P < .0001) and cervical (OR = 1.14, CI: 1.104-1.25; P < .01) cancer had higher rates of PC utilization. The proportion of patients receiving PC increased from 2% in 2005 to 10% in 2011. In a subset analysis of the 4517 patients who died during hospitalization, only 1056 (23%) patients received PC. CONCLUSION: Patients who were older, black, or had uterine and cervical cancers were more likely to use PC. Although the overall use of PC has increased, less than one-quarter of patients who died in the hospital used PC services during their final hospital admission.