"Supportive care" may hold less stigma than "palliative care"

the ONA take:

Hematologic specialists were less likely to refer patients early in the disease trajectory to palliative care and were conducive to referral with the service name supportive care instead of palliative care, a new study published online ahead of print in the journal The Oncologist has shown.

Because palliative care referrals are often delayed for patients with hematologic malignancies, researchers sought to examine the differences in attitudes and beliefs toward palliative care referral between hematologic and solid tumor specialists and how their perception was altered with the service name supportive care instead of palliative care.

For the study, researchers surveyed 120 hematologic and 120 solid tumor oncology specialists at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

Results showed that hematologic specialists were less likely than solid tumor specialists to report that they would refer symptomatic patients with newly diagnosed cancer to palliative care.

Researchers also found that a significantly greater proportion of oncology specialists reported that they would refer a patient with newly diagnosed cancer to supportive care than palliative care, even though they both provide the same service.

“These findings suggest that rebranding might help to overcome the stigma associated with palliative care and improve patient access to palliative care services,” the authors conclude.

"Supportive care" may hold less stigma than "palliative care"
Hematologic specialists were less likely to refer patients early in the disease trajectory to palliative care.
Departments of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine and Biostatistics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA Correspondence: David Hui, M.D., Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine, Unit 1414, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
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