Background: The role of palliative care has expanded over the past several decades, although the oncology-specific regional evolution of this specialty has not been characterized at the population-based level. Methods: This study defined the patterns of palliative care delivery using a retrospective cohort of patients with advanced cancer within the SEER-Medicare linked database. We identified 83,022 patients with metastatic breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers. We studied trends between 2000 through 2009, and determined patient-level and regional-level predictors of palliative care delivery. Results: Palliative care consultation rates increased from 3.0% in 2000 to 12.9% in 2009, with most consultations occurring in the last 4 weeks of life (77%) in the inpatient hospital setting. The rates of palliative care delivery were highest in the West (7.6%) and lowest in the South (3.2%). The likelihood of palliative care consultation increased with decreasing numbers of regional acute care hospital beds per capita. The use of palliative care consultation increased with increasing numbers of regional physicians. The use of palliative care decreased with increasing regional Medicare expenditure with a $1,387 difference per beneficiary between the first and fourth quartiles of palliative care use. Conclusions: Geographic location influences a patient's options for palliative care in the United States. Although the overall rates of palliative care are increasing, future effort should focus on improving palliative care services in regions with the least access.
Eric J. Roeland, Daniel P. Triplett, Rayna K. Matsuno, Isabel J. Boero, Lindsay Hwang, Heidi N. Yeung, Loren Mell and James D. Murphy
Emily J. Martin, Eric J. Roeland, Madison B. Sharp, Carolyn Revta, James D. Murphy, Katherine E. Fero and Heidi N. Yeung
Background: Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is an effective approach to treat pain. However, data regarding patterns of PCA use for cancer pain are limited. The purpose of this study was to define the patterns of PCA use and related outcomes in hospitalized patients with cancer. Methods: We identified 90 patients with cancer admitted to a single academic center who received PCA for nonsurgical, cancer-related pain and survived to discharge between January 2013 and January 2014. Data collected included patient demographics, cancer diagnosis, type of cancer-related pain, PCA use, opioid-specific adverse events, and 30-day readmission rates for pain. Univariable and multivariable linear regression models were used to analyze the association between patient and clinical variables with PCA duration. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between patient and clinical variables and 30-day readmission rates. Results: The median length of hospitalization was 10.2 days with a median PCA duration of 4.4 days. Hematologic malignancies were associated with longer PCA use (P=.0001), as was younger age (P=.032). A trend was seen toward decreased 30-day readmission rates with longer PCA use (P=.054). No correlation was found between 30-day readmission and any covariate studied, including age, sex, cancer type (solid vs hematologic), pain type, palliative care consult, or time from PCA discontinuation to discharge. Conclusions: This study suggests that there is longer PCA use in younger patients and those with hematologic malignancies admitted with cancer-related pain, with a trend toward decreased 30-day readmission rates in those with longer PCA use.