HSR20-109: Using Promotoras in a US-Mexico Hispanic Border Community to Provide Palliative Care

Introduction: Palliative care has been shown to be an integral part of oncology as a form to improve quality of life. Access to end of life care such as palliative care and hospice care has been shown to be a challenge among minorities and marginalized groups. Our objective is to provide quality palliative care to oncology Hispanic patients along the Mexico-US border by using community health workers (promotoras) to deliver a comprehensive and culturally sensitive educational intervention. We believe we will have improve overall quality of life (FACIT-Pal scores) when comparing the intervention group vs. the control group and decrease depression scores using a PHQ-9 scale. Methods: SAS 9.4 software was used to analyze the data. The average FACIT-Pal total scores were calculated for the promotora and the standard of care groups at two points in time: start and end of study. Averages were reported along with standard deviations (SD). The average differences in FACIT-Pal total scores over time were calculated for the promotora and the standard of care groups and a two-sample independent t -test was performed. An alpha of 0.05 was used. The average PHQ-9 scores were calculated for the promotora and the standard of care groups at two points in time. Averages were reported along with standard deviations (SD). The average differences in PHQ-9 scores over time were calculated for the promotora and the standard of care groups and a two-sample independent t -test was performed. An alpha of 0.05 was used. Results: The average change in the FACIT-Pal total scores over. was -4.88 and -7.27 in the promotora and standard of care groups, respectively ( p =0.81). The average change in the PHQ-9 scores over was 1.54 and -1.83 in the promotora and standard of care groups, respectively ( p =0.09). Conclusion: Implementation of a promotora based educational program was feasible and resulted in a non- significant improvement in quality of life scores as well as a no significant change in depression scale scores. These findings will need to be confirmed in a larger study. Palliative care is often underutilized due to lack of education, resources, and cultural perception. Minority populations often have limited access to palliative care services. This study explores a novel means of increasing the uptake of palliative care services among Hispanic cancer patients.

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Corresponding Author: Gabriela Abigail Villanueva, MD
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