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Dr. Megan Shen Highlights the Difference in the Impact of EOL Discussions on DNR Order Completion Among Latino and Non-Latino Advanced Cancer Patients

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Weill Cornell Medicine

Department of Medicine

Center for Research on End of Life Care

Impact of End-of-Life Discussions on the Reduction of Latino/Non-Latino Disparities in Do-Not-Resuscitate Order Completion

Latino disparities are prevalent in end-of-life (EOL) advanced care planning, a determinant of a patient’s end of life quality. Prior research has indicated that compared with non-Latino, white patients with advanced cancer, Latino patients with advanced cancer are less likely to sign do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders, which is a form of advanced care planning. In an effort to address this disparity, Dr. Megan Shen examined the differences between Latino and non-Latino, White terminally ill advanced cancer patients with regard to the association between EOL discussions and DNR order completion.

Ultimately, the association between EOL discussions and DNR order completion was significantly greater in Latino compared to white patients. When compared to Latino’s who had not had an EOL discussion take place, Latinos who did were >10 times more likely to complete a DNR order. Additionally, Latinos who had an EOL discussion were found to be equally as likely to complete a DNR order as white patients, potentially addressing the disparity.

Although future research is needed to further investigate this finding, the results of this study highlight the differences in the impact of EOL discussions on DNR order completion among Latino and non-Latino advanced cancer patients. This finding provides insight into Latino/Non-Latino ethnic disparities on decision making in EOL care, and point to a potential means to eliminate those disparities.

Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Research on End-of-Life Care 525 E 68th St, Box 39,
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New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-4409