How Likely Are Oncologists to Refer for Palliative Care? Depends on Their Age

Patient referrals to palliative care varies between oncologists according to a recent study published in The Oncologist. The study found that referrals and time to referral is relative to the age of the oncologist.

The researchers retrospectively evaluated data on patients who died of advanced thoracic malignancies at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2012. Based on the number of referrals, the researchers identified high-referring and a low-referring groups of oncologists.

“The findings highlight the role of education to standardize palliative care access and imply that outpatient palliative care referral is likely to continue to increase with a shifting oncology workforce,” the authors reported.

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