Objectives To assess public perceptions regarding ovarian cancer (OC) care delivery.
Methods The 2018 Empire State Poll, conducted by the Survey Research Institute of Cornell University (February-April/2018), was the 16th annual survey of New York State residents. We contributed questions regarding OC care delivery.
Results 800 residents were surveyed: median age 48 years (range 18–94), 50% female, 47% married, 64% White. 55% of respondents with an OC diagnosis would seek evaluation by an oncologist first. Those with household incomes >$75,000 were more likely to do so (OR=1.43, 95% CI1.04–1.95); those who identified as ‘Other’ race (OR=0.48, 95%CI 0.32–0.73) or unmarried (OR=0.73, 95%CI 0.54–1.0) were less likely.
81% were willing to travel >2 hours for surgery, 55% >4 hours. Older (OR=1.67, 95%CI 1.13–2.46) and unemployed (OR=1.58, 95%CI 1.07–2.34) respondents were less willing to travel.
46% relied on referral from primary care physicians (PCPs) in choosing an OC doctor; 21% relied on internet research. Females (OR 0.61, 95%CI 0.46–0.81) and those with some college education (OR 0.65, 95%CI 0.47–0.88) were less likely to depend on physician referral; respondents >48 years of age (OR 1.49, 95%CI 1.12–1.98) were more likely.
Conclusions Despite data demonstrating improved outcomes for women with OC seeking treatment with high-volume providers, only half of respondents recognize the importance of subspecialty care. Historically disenfranchised populations are less likely to seek subspecialty care and are less likely to travel. PCPs significantly influence patient decision-making. These data identify vulnerable populations, providing a springboard for public awareness and access initiatives.
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