Palliative Care

Journal Article Annotations
2024, 1st Quarter

Palliative Care

Annotations by Barbara Lubrano, MD.
April, 2024

  1. Knowledge of Palliative Care and Barriers to Access Among Outpatients with Cancer.

PUBLICATION #1 — Palliative Care

Knowledge of Palliative Care and Barriers to Access Among Outpatients with Cancer.
Lindsay M Schlichte, Jordan Hildenbrand, Steven Wolf, Kris W Herring, Jesse D Troy, Thomas W LeBlanc


The finding:
Familiarity with palliative care (PC) was significantly associated with time since diagnosis, suggesting that the increase in familiarity and knowledge is in part due to the time that patients have spent within healthcare facilities and interacting with healthcare providers. Interestingly, patient knowledge about PC was not associated with the type or stage of cancer. Additionally, having an aggressive cancer was not associated with an interest in receiving PC services. This study highlights the ongoing “uneasiness” that still exists despite having knowledge of PC, suggesting that patients’ perception of PC is still associated with having a more advanced illness, or a terminal or imminently life-threatening diagnosis.

Strength and weaknesses:
The study was performed at a tertiary care academic cancer center, and findings may not be generalized to other care settings. There was a relative lack of diversity in race, ethnicity, education, and socioeconomic status, with exclusion of non-English proficient patients, or patients with no access to the internet.  Additionally, questionnaires used were not validated.  Additionally, the study recognized selection bias, where patients’ prior experience or knowledge of PC potentially influenced their decision to participate in the study. Strengths included that thisoffers an exploration into what patients with cancer know about PC and highlights the barriers that still exist to access services, like the misunderstanding regarding the full scope of care that PC can provide.

CL psychiatrists have a key role in educating and address the uneasiness and the misunderstanding present among patients and healthcare providers, including oncologists, regarding the cope and benefits of early access to PC services.