Hospice Utilization Surges Among Multiple Myeloma Patients in the U.S. Over Two Decades

Baltimore, Maryland – Researchers in the field of oncology have been studying the trends in end-of-life care for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) over the past two decades. While significant advancements in treatments have improved the quality of life for MM patients, many still face challenges managing their disease until the end. Understanding where patients prefer to spend their final days is crucial for providing appropriate care and support.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention WONDER database, researchers analyzed the trends in place of death (POD) and hospice utilization among MM patients in the United States from 2003 to 2020. The study focused on patients over the age of 18 who had been diagnosed with MM during this time period, examining factors such as age, gender, race, and geographic location.

The analysis revealed that out of 205,472 deaths related to MM, a significant proportion occurred in the decedent’s home or hospice facility (H&H). There was a notable increase in the utilization of H&H for end-of-life care, with a corresponding decrease in deaths in medical facilities and nursing homes. The trend towards H&H utilization was consistent across all regions of the United States, with the highest rates seen in the Western region.

When looking at age groups, researchers found that those between 45-64 years and 65+ showed the highest increase in H&H utilization, indicating a preference for home-based care as patients age. Additionally, both genders demonstrated a rise in H&H utilization, with females showing a slightly lower increase compared to males.

In terms of racial demographics, the study identified differences in H&H utilization rates among different ethnic groups, with whites showing the highest rates followed by American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, and African American patients. However, the trend analysis showed the most significant increase in H&H utilization among Asian or Pacific Islander patients over the study period.

Overall, the findings suggest a positive trend towards increased utilization of hospice facilities for end-of-life care among MM patients. However, there is still room for improvement, particularly among certain demographic groups like African American patients in the North-East region, to ensure that all patients have access to the appropriate care and support needed during this challenging time.