Oncologists generally refer to specialized palliative care late

October 30, 2012
Oncologists generally refer to specialized palliative care late
Definitional issues and non-acceptance of patients receiving chemotherapy are the barriers to earlier referral to specialized palliative care by oncologists, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

(HealthDay)—Definitional issues and non-acceptance of patients receiving chemotherapy are the barriers to earlier referral to specialized palliative care (SPC) by oncologists, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Kirsten Wentlandt, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues anonymously surveyed physician members of the Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists, Canadian Association of , and Canadian Society of Surgical regarding SPC referral practices.

The researchers found that, of the 603 participating physicians among 839 surveyed, 94 percent reported that SPC was available to them, but only 37 percent said that these services accepted patients on chemotherapy. Terminally ill patients were usually/always referred by 84 percent of reporting physicians, but generally for uncontrolled symptoms or discharge planning late in the disease course. If SPC was renamed supportive care, one-third of physicians said they would refer earlier. Comprehensiveness of available SPC services, satisfaction with SPC availability, SPC acceptance of patients receiving , and oncologist ease with referring patients to a palliative care service before they were close to death were the factors significantly predictive of higher referral frequency.

"Oncologists referred patients frequently to SPC, but generally late in the disease course for patients with uncontrolled symptoms," the authors write.

Explore further: Most cancer physicians reach out to bereaved family, caregivers

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Research finds talc doesn't cause cancer; juries disagree

September 26, 2016

Two lawsuits ended in jury verdicts worth $127 million. Two others were tossed out by a judge who said there wasn't reliable evidence that the talc in Johnson & Johnson's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer. So who's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.