Authors: Accordino MK, Wright JD, Vasan S, Neugut AI, Gross T, Hillyer GC, Hershman DL
Title: Association between survival time with metastatic breast cancer and aggressive end-of-life care.
Journal: Breast Cancer Res Treat 166(2):549-558
Date: 2017 Nov
PubMed ID: 28752188
Abstract: PURPOSE: For women with stage IV breast cancer (BC), the association between survival time (ST) and use of aggressive end-of-life (EOL) care is unknown. METHODS: We used the SEER-Medicare database to identify women with stage IV BC diagnosed 2002-2011 who died by 12/31/2012. Aggressive EOL care was defined as receipt in the last month of life: >1 ED visit, >1 hospitalization, ICU admission, life-extending procedures, hospice admission within 3 days of death, IV chemotherapy within 14 days of death, and/or ≥10 unique physician encounters in the last 6 months of life. Receipt of aggressive EOL care and hospice in the last month of life were determined using claims, and multivariable analysis was used to identify factors associated with receipt. Costs of care were also evaluated. RESULTS: We identified 4521 eligible patients. Of these, 2748 (60.8%) received aggressive EOL care. Factors associated with aggressive EOL care were race (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.19-1.81 for blacks compared to whites) and more frequent oncology office visits (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.28-1.90). Patients who lived >12 months after diagnosis were less likely to receive aggressive EOL care (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.38-0.52), and more likely to utilize hospice (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.21-1.69) compared to patients who lived ≤6 months. Patients with a shorter ST had significantly higher costs of care per-month-alive compared to patients with longer ST. CONCLUSION: Patients with a shorter ST were more likely to receive aggressive EOL care and had higher costs of care compared to patients who lived longer.