Disparities in pediatric oncology patient education and linguistic resources: results of a national survey of pediatric oncologists.

Slone JS, Self E, Friedman D, Heiman H
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014 61 (2): 333-6

PMID: 24167088 · PMCID: PMC3877218 · DOI:10.1002/pbc.24831

BACKGROUND - Extensive patient and family education is required at the time of a new diagnosis of pediatric cancer yet little data exist regarding the availability and linguistic competency of new cancer diagnosis education provided by pediatric oncology institutions.

PROCEDURE - Using the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO) membership list, a web-based survey was conducted among a cohort of pediatric oncologists to determine pediatric oncologists' assessment of institutional resources for new cancer diagnosis education and the availability of linguistically appropriate education.

RESULTS - Of 1,294 ASPHO members sent email survey invitations, 573 (44.3%) responded with 429 meeting eligibility criteria. Oncologists at academic institutions reported their institutions had more availability of resources for new diagnosis education compared with those from non-academic institutions (mean 78.6 vs. 74.3; 0 [not at all]-100 [well equipped]; P = 0.05). The mean score increased with volume of new cancer diagnoses/year: small (<75) = 73.4; medium (75-149) = 76.7; large (>150) = 84.5 (P < 0.001). Oncologists at large volume institutions reported more availability of an established patient education protocol (50.8% vs. 38.1%, P < 0.001) and increased use of dedicated non-physician staff (79.9% vs. 66.1%, P = 0.02), but less use of websites for patient education (17.2% vs. 33.3%, P = 0.001). Availability of linguistically appropriate education improved with increasing institution size: small (76.4), medium (82.3), and large (84.0) patient volume (P < 0.011).

CONCLUSION - According to pediatric oncologists, a disparity in educational and linguistic resources for new pediatric cancer diagnosis education exists depending on institution type and size.

© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

MeSH Terms (16)

Academic Medical Centers Child Cohort Studies Female Healthcare Disparities Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice Health Resources Humans Linguistics Male Medical Oncology Neoplasms Parents Patient Education as Topic Pediatrics Prognosis

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