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Rural versus urban differences in end-of-life care for lung cancer patients in Germany.

Support Care Cancer 26, 2275-2283 (2018)
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Open Access Green
PURPOSE: To assess rural-urban differences in healthcare utilization and supportive care at the end-of-life in German lung cancer patients. METHODS: We identified 12,929 patients with incident lung cancer in 2009 from claims data and categorized them to four district types (major city, urban, rural, remote rural). We compared site of death, unplanned hospitalizations, hospital days, outpatient doctor, general practitioner (GP) and home visits, structured palliative care, therapy with antidepressants, pain relief medication and chemotherapy, and therapeutic puncturing in the last 30 and 14 days of life using mixed models with logistic link function for binary outcomes and log link function for count data. We adjusted all models by age, sex, comorbidities, metastases location and presence of multiple tumors at diagnosis, survival in months, and type of tumor-directed treatment. RESULTS: We found significant differences in two of the outcomes measured. The likelihood of > 14 hospital days in the last 30 days was significantly higher in rural districts than in remote rural districts (1.27 [1.05, 1.52], p = 0.0003). The number of visits to the GP in the last 30 days of life was significantly lower in urban districts than in remote rural districts (β = - 0.19 [- 0.32, - 0.06], p = <0.0001). No other endpoints were associated with regional differences. Triggering factors for high and low utilization of healthcare were mostly age, comorbidities, and prior anticancer treatment. CONCLUSION: Healthcare utilization and supportive care did not differ significantly between different district types. Results reject the hypothesis of regional inequity in end-of-life care of lung cancer patients in Germany.
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Publikationstyp Artikel: Journalartikel
Dokumenttyp Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Schlagwörter Rurality ; Quality Of Care ; Equality ; Claims Data ; Death ; Regional Differences
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0941-4355
e-ISSN 1433-7339
Zeitschrift Supportive care in cancer
Quellenangaben Band: 26, Heft: 7, Seiten: 2275-2283 Artikelnummer: , Supplement: ,
Verlag Springer
Verlagsort Berlin ; Heidelberg