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Study indicates reasons for racial disparities
Investigators at the University of Pennsylvania in their study found that hospice services have restrictions that reduce usage by many patients who are most in need, particularly African-Americans, according to the American Cancer Society.
The research is published in the Feb. 1, 2009, issue of Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
According to a release by the University of Pennsylvania, racial disparities in end-of-life cancer care might be caused by a preference for continuing aggressive treatment, which is a decision that blocks enrollment in hospice care.
The study was developed and conducted by Jessica Fishman, PhD, and David J. Cassarett, MD, MA, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, and colleagues. The study, published online in December 2008, "indicates that the eligibility criteria for hospice services should be reconsidered," the release states.