Objectives: Gynecologic oncologists frequently care for patients at the end of life with the aid of palliative care (PC) specialists. Our primary objectives were to identify perceived barriers to integrating specialty PC into gynecologic cancer care. Materials and Methods: Members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) were invited to participate in an anonymous online survey. A Likert scale captured perceptions regarding primary and specialty PC, frequent barriers to use of PC, and potential interventions. Results: A total of 174 (16%) gynecologic oncologists completed the survey. The majority (75%) agreed or strongly agreed that PC should be integrated into cancer care at diagnosis of advanced or metastatic cancer. The most frequently perceived PC barriers included patients' unrealistic expectations (54%), limited access to specialty PC (25%), poor reimbursement (25%), time constraints (22%), and concern of reducing hope or trust (21%). The most agreed upon potential intervention was increased access to outpatient PC (80%). Conclusions: According to this cohort of SGO members, families' or patients' unrealistic expectations are the most frequent barriers to specialty PC. Understanding this communication breakdown is critically important.
- Gynecologic oncology
- Palliative care