Racial and Ethnic Disparities Found in Palliative Care Use


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A new study published this week once again demonstrates racial and ethnic disparities in accessing quality healthcare services, specifically, palliative care use.  The researchers found that less than 3 percent of hospitalized patients with ESKD receive palliative care services, and black and Hispanic patients have the lowest proportion.

“Striking racial and ethnic disparities exist in the use of palliative care  by hospitalized patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) on dialysis, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai report. The findings were published  today in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Palliative care is team-based care focused on improving quality of life and reducing suffering for people with serious illness and their families. Palliative care—which better aligns medical treatments with patients’ goals and wishes, aggressively treats distressing symptoms, and improves care coordination—is associated with shorter hospital stays and lower costs, according to research published in 2018 by scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai…

The researchers note that the reasons for the disparities are complex and multifactorial. “One of the unique findings of the study includes the finding that even when minority patients were admitted to hospitals that treat a higher volume of minority patients, they were still less likely to receive palliative care than white patients. Further investigation into the causes of racial disparities is necessary to better understand the systemic issues contributing to barriers to palliative care services in the vulnerable end-stage kidney disease population…”

Read more at Newswise.com…


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