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Research Letter
February 2016

Timeliness of End-of-Life Discussions for Blood CancersA National Survey of Hematologic Oncologists

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Population Sciences, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Center for Lymphoma, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, Canada
  • 4Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 5Center for Leukemia, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(2):263-265. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.6599

Existing studies suggest a quality gap with respect to end-of-life (EOL) care for patients with blood cancers,1 and less timely EOL discussions may be partly to blame. Indeed, patients with blood cancers are more likely to receive chemotherapy and be hospitalized when near death, to die in acute care settings, and are less likely to use hospice services than those with advanced solid tumors.1 A rigorous understanding of when EOL discussions occur for patients with hematologic cancers is a necessary step toward developing targeted interventions to improve the quality of their EOL care.

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