The Determinants of Palliative Care Use in Patients With Colorectal Cancer: A National Study

Dorin T. Colibaseanu, Osayande Osagiede, Aaron Spaulding, Ryan D. Frank, Amit Merchea, Kellie L. Mathis, Alexander Parker, Sikander Ailawadhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background: Palliative care is associated with improved survival and quality of life, but its use among patients with colorectal cancer varies nationwide and the determinants of those variations are not clear. Objective: To determine the factors associated with palliative care use among patients who died of colorectal cancer. Methods: Deceased patients treated for colorectal cancer (2004-2013) were identified within the National Cancer Database. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate patient and institutional characteristics associated with palliative care use. Patients were classified based on their length of survival (<6 months, 6-24 months, and 24+ months) to provide timing context. Results: A total of 287 923 patients were analyzed. Overall, 4.3% of the patients received palliative care. Patients who received palliative care were more likely to be younger, recently diagnosed, treated at academic hospitals, and have stage IV disease. Patients living in Mountain and Pacific regions had higher odds of palliative care receipt than those in the East Coast. Patients without insurance had higher odds of palliative care if they survived <24 months. Insurance coverage through Medicaid was associated with increased palliative care use among patients who survived 6 to 24 months. Patients who survived <6 months and lived >9 miles from the institution received more palliative care. Conclusion: Palliative care use among patients with colorectal cancer is associated with a younger age, a more recent year of diagnosis, insurance status, academic hospitals, and living in Mountain and Pacific regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • colorectal cancer
  • NCDB
  • palliative care
  • palliative care underutilization
  • palliative care use in cancer
  • retrospective study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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