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Black and hispanic women have less support during cancer evaluation and treatment: results from a prospective patient reported outcomes program in gynecologic malignancy


Objective Race remains a significant predictor of poor outcomes in women with gynecologic cancer and minority patients consistently report worse quality of life during cancer treatment. Disparities between patients in strength of social and emotional supports may contribute to these outcomes. This study’s objective was to describe the racial differences in patient reported outcomes of women being evaluated or treated for a gynecologic malignancy at a large tertiary cancer hospital.

Methods In this prospective cohort study, all patients presenting for care at a tertiary care gynecologic oncology clinic between January 2018 and September 2019 were evaluated for inclusion. All patients were administered validated patient reported outcome measure questionnaires at serial visits. Demographic data was gathered including self-reported race. Patients were characterized as White, Black, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, or Other. Patient reported outcomes were compared between respondents of different races using linear and logistic regression.

Results Between January 2018 to September 2019, 2022 patients with a known race completed questionnaires. Of these patients, 86.7% were White, 4.3% Black, and 4.9% Hispanic/Latino and 58.7% had a known cancer diagnosis. Non-White patients were significantly less likely to complete questionnaires (p<0.001). Non-White patients reported significantly lower levels of emotional support on all questions (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) emotional support: Q1 p<0.001, Q2 p<0.001, Q3 p=0.013, Q4 p=0.002), and lower overall emotional (p=0.005) and instrumental (p=0.005) support scores when compared with White patients. Hispanic/Latino patients reported the lowest levels of emotional and instrumental support and more cognitive (p=0.043) and financial (p=0.040) difficulties associated with treatment. Black women reported having less support with chores while sick (p=0.014) and being less likely to have someone to talk to (p=0.013).

Conclusions Significant differences exist in patient reported outcomes between women of different racial backgrounds. Hispanic/Latino and Black women have less support during gynecologic cancer evaluation and treatment as compared with White women.

  • quality of life (PRO)/palliative care
  • postoperative care
  • genital neoplasms, female

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. In accordance with the journal’s guidelines, we will provide our data for independent analysis by a team selected by the Editorial Team for the purposes of additional data analysis or for the reproducibility of this study in other centers if requested.

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