skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Patient age, well-being, perspectives, and care practices in the early treatment phase for late-stage cancer.

Rose JH, O'Toole EE, Einstadter D, Love TE, Shenko CA, Dawson NV. Patient age, well-being, perspectives, and care practices in the early treatment phase for late-stage cancer. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2008 Sep 1; 63(9):960-8.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Among advanced-stage cancer patients, age is an important determinant of decision making about medical care. We examined age-related differences in patient well-being, care perspectives, and preferences, and the relationship between these patient characteristics and subsequent care practices including care communication, pain management, and acute care utilization during the early treatment phase of late-stage cancer. METHODS: Patient demographics, well-being, and care perspectives were assessed during patient and physician baseline interviews. Care practices were measured using outpatient and inpatient records for the 30-day period after baseline assessment. Multivariate regression models were used to examine the patterns of association of age and other patient characteristics with care practices. RESULTS: A total of 174 middle-aged and 149 older patients with recently diagnosed late-stage cancer were included. Older patients had more comorbidities but lower levels of depression, anxiety, and symptom distress. Older patients preferred pain relief/comfort as a treatment goal, but received fewer prescriptions for opioids. Whereas provider-initiated communication with patients/families was positively associated with severity of illness, patient/family-initiated communication was associated with patient psychosocial attributes and care perspectives. Satisfaction with care was inversely associated with reports of pain. Symptom distress was positively associated with subsequent opioid prescriptions and hospitalizations. CONCLUSIONS: Our results help to explain the role of patients' psychosocial attributes, care perspectives, and preferences in subsequent care practices during the early treatment phase for late-stage cancer. Age-related differences in patient well-being and care perspectives suggest a role for age-sensitive interventions in the treatment of advanced cancer patients.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.