Predictors of Placement of Inpatient Palliative Care Consult Orders Among Patients With Breast, Lung, and Colon Cancer in a Safety Net Hospital System

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The provision of palliative and end-of-life care to patients who are underrepresented and underserved provides unique challenges and opportunities.


To examine predictors of placement of inpatient palliative care consult orders among patients with breast, lung, and colorectal cancer hospitalized in a safety net hospital in 2010.


Simple and multivariable logistic regression of data on selected patients with cancer was performed to identify predictors of placement of inpatient palliative care consult orders.


Of 979 patients, 56% had colorectal cancer, 23% had lung cancer, and 21% had breast cancer. Of those patients, 16% received an order for inpatient palliative care consultation during the study period. Patients who had more than 20 prescriptions for opioids ordered (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 9.10, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.62-17.95), had an order for a radiation oncology consult (AOR: 2.60, 95% CI: 1.50-4.49), or had low albumin (AOR: 2.75, 95% CI: 4.71) were more likely to have an order for an inpatient palliative care consult placed. Race and ethnicity were not statistically significant predictors.


In this cohort of patients in a safety net hospital, markers of pain, advanced disease, and poor prognosis were associated with placement of inpatient palliative care consult orders.

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