Study Shows Increased Utilization of Hospice Facilities in End-of-Life Care for Multiple Myeloma Patients

Boston, Massachusetts – A recent study analyzed trends in place of death (POD) for multiple myeloma (MM) patients in the United States from 2003 to 2020. Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects plasma cells and carries high morbidity and mortality rates. While modern treatments have improved care, a significant number of patients still succumb to the disease.

The analysis, conducted using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, focused on patients aged 18 and older who were diagnosed with MM during the specified period. The study looked at demographic factors such as age, gender, place of death, census region, and hospice utilization. The goal was to understand how these factors influenced end-of-life care for MM patients.

Findings from the study revealed that a substantial number of MM patients died at home or in hospice facilities (H&H), while a slightly higher percentage passed away in medical facilities or nursing homes (M&N). Over the years, there was a notable increase in the trend of deaths in H&H settings, with a corresponding decline in M&N facilities. This shift in POD suggests a growing preference for home-based supportive care at end-of-life.

When examining the data by census regions, all regions in the US showed a significant increase in H&H utilization, with the West region leading in H&H deaths. Conversely, the North-East region had the highest percentage of deaths in medical facilities or nursing homes. The study also highlighted differences in age groups, gender, and race regarding hospice utilization, with younger patients and certain racial groups utilizing hospice services less frequently.

In conclusion, the study revealed a positive trend in the increased utilization of hospice facilities in end-of-life care for MM patients over the past two decades. However, there are still opportunities to further expand the use of hospice, particularly in certain regions and among specific demographic groups, to enhance end-of-life care outcomes and reduce associated burdens. This research sheds light on the evolving landscape of end-of-life care for MM patients in the United States.