Greater preferences for death in hospital and mechanical ventilation at the end of life among non-whites recently diagnosed with cancer

David Boyce-Fappiano, Kaiping Liao, Christopher Miller, Susan K. Peterson, Linda S. Elting, B. Ashleigh Guadagnolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Non-white cancer patients receive more aggressive care at the end-of-life (EOL). This may indicate low quality EOL care if discordant with patient preferences. We investigated preferred potential place of death and preferences regarding use of mechanical ventilation in a cohort of Texas cancer patients. Methods: A population-based convenience sample of recently diagnosed cancer patients from the Texas Cancer Registry was surveyed using a multi-scale inventory between March 2018 and June 2020. Item responses to questions about preferences regarding location of death and mechanical ventilation were the outcome measures of this investigation. Inverse probability weighting analysis was used to construct multivariable logistic regression examining the associations of covariates. Results: Of the 1460 respondents, a majority (82%) preferred to die at home compared to 8% who preferred dying at the hospital. In total, 25% of respondents expressed a preference for undergoing mechanical ventilation at the EOL. Adjusted analysis showed increased preference among Black (OR = 1.81; 95% CI: 1.19–2.73) and other non-white, non-Hispanic race individuals (OR = 3.53; 95% CI: 1.99–6.27) for dying at a hospital. Males, married individuals, those of higher education and poor self-reported health showed significantly higher preference for dying at home. Non-white respondents of all races were more likely to prefer mechanical ventilation at the EOL as were individuals who lived with another person at home. Conclusion: Non-white cancer patients were more likely to express preferences coinciding with aggressive EOL care including dying at the hospital and utilizing mechanical ventilation. These findings were independent of other sociodemographic characteristics, including decisional self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6555-6564
Number of pages10
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Cancer
  • End of life
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Place of death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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