JCO Oncol Pract. 2022 Jan 5:OP2100502. doi: 10.1200/OP.21.00502. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Palliative care (PC) plays an established role in improving outcomes in patients with solid tumors, yet these services are underutilized in hematologic malignancies (HMs). We reviewed records of hospitalized patients with active HM to determine associations between PC consultation and length of stay, intensive care unit stay, 30-day readmission, and 6-month mortality compared with those who were not seen by PC.
METHODS: We reviewed all oncology admissions at our institution between 2013 and 2019 and included patients with HM actively on treatment, stratified by those seen by PC to controls not seen by PC. Groups were compared using Wilcoxon rank-sum, chi-square, and Fisher's exact tests on the basis of the type and distribution of data. Multiple logistic regression models with stepwise variable selection methods were used to find predictors of outcomes.
RESULTS: Three thousand six hundred fifty-four admissions were reviewed, among which 370 unique patients with HM were included. Among these, 102 (28%) patients saw PC, whereas the remaining 268 were controls with similar comorbidities. When compared with controls, PC consultation was associated with a statistically significant reduction in 30-day readmissions (16% v 27%; P = .024), increased length of stay (11.5 v 6 days; P < .001), increased intensive care unit admission (28% v 9%; P < .001), and increased 6-month mortality (67% v 15%; P < .001). These data were confirmed in multivariable models.
CONCLUSION: In this retrospective study, more than two thirds of patients with HM did not receive PC consultation despite having similar comorbidities, suggesting that inpatient PC consultation is underutilized in patients with HM, despite the potential for decreased readmission rates.