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Palliative Care Use Among Hospitalized Lymphoma Patients

This content was current as of the date it was released. In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Koffman

The Bottom Line:

Palliative care can be an important part of the treatment approach for leukemia and lymphoma patients, but there are disparities in which patients receive it.

Who Performed the Research and Where Was it Presented:

Dr. Rushin Patel from Community Hospital of San Bernardino and colleagues presented the results at the American Society for Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting 2023.


Palliative care is a specialized medical care that focuses on improving patients’ quality of life by reducing the symptoms and stress associated with serious illnesses such as leukemias and lymphomas. While palliative care is commonly confused with hospice care, it can be given at any time, not just at the end of life. Palliative care can also be provided alongside treatment to prolong life or cure an illness. This study aimed to examine the characteristics of lymphoma patients receiving palliative care and its impacts on healthcare utilization.

Methods and Participants:

This study was a retrospective analysis of hospital data from the National Inpatient Sample between 2016 and 2019.


  • Using hospital records, researchers identified 10,323 lymphoma patients who had been admitted to a hospital and passed away.
  • Of these patients, 53% received palliative care during their hospital stay.
  • Black and Hispanic patients were less likely to receive palliative care compared with White patients.
  • Patients admitted to large teaching hospitals in urban areas were more likely to receive palliative care.
  • Patients with Medicare insurance had the lowest probability of receiving palliative care compared to other insurance groups.
  • Patients receiving palliative care had significantly lower total charges during their hospital stay.
  • The length of hospital stay did not differ between the group receiving palliative care and those that did not.


Including palliative care as part of the treatment approach for lymphoma patients can be an important step to improving the quality of life for patients. However, this study shows disparities in who receives palliative care. Blacks and Hispanics receive less palliative care than Whites. Policymakers should consider improving access to palliative care and ensuring equitable provision to all lymphoma patients.

Links and Resources:

The actual ASH abstract is Disparities in Palliative Care Utilization in Deceased Lymphoma Patients: A Nationwide Analysis

Take care of yourself first.

Ann Liu, PhD