Patterns of palliative care referral in ovarian cancer: A single institution 5 year retrospective analysis

Roni Nitecki, Elisabeth J Diver, Mihir M Kamdar, David M Boruta, Marcela C Del Carmen, Rachel M Clark, Annekathryn Goodman, John O Schorge, Whitfield B Growdon
Gynecologic Oncology 2018, 148 (3): 521-526

BACKGROUND: The American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends that patients with advanced cancer receive dedicated palliative care services early in their disease course. This investigation serves to understand how palliative care services are utilized for ovarian cancer patients in a tertiary referral center.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of women treated for ovarian cancer at our institution from 2010 through 2015. Clinical variables included presence and timing of palliative care referral. Data were correlated utilizing univariable and multivariable parametric and non-parametric testing, and survivals were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and cox-proportional hazard models.

RESULTS: We identified 391 women treated for ovarian cancer, of whom 68% were diagnosed with stage III or IV disease. Palliative care referral was utilized in 28% in the outpatient (42%) and inpatient (58%) settings. Earlier use of referral was observed in those who never underwent surgical cytoreduction or had interval cytoreductive surgery (p < 0.001). Palliative care referral was independently associated with advanced stage (OR 1.7, p = 0.02), recurrence (OR 2.0, p = 0.002) and hospice referral (OR 6.0, p < 0.001). In 38% of women referral occurred within 30 days of death, and 17% within one week of death. Outpatient initial consultation was associated with an unadjusted 1 year overall survival benefit (p < 0.01) compared to inpatient consultation.

CONCLUSIONS: The outcomes in this study suggest a late use of palliative care that is reactionary to patient needs and not a routine component of ovarian cancer care as national guidelines recommend.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.