Disparities in Use of Gynecologic Oncologists for Women with Ovarian Cancer in the United States
Article first published online: 3 DEC 2012
© Health Research and Educational Trust
Health Services Research
Volume 48, Issue 3, pages 1135–1153, June 2013
How to Cite
Austin, S., Martin, M. Y., Kim, Y., Funkhouser, E. M., Partridge, E. E. and Pisu, M. (2013), Disparities in Use of Gynecologic Oncologists for Women with Ovarian Cancer in the United States. Health Services Research, 48: 1135–1153. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12012
- Issue published online: 9 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 3 DEC 2012
- American Cancer Society. Grant Number: IRG-60-001-47
- National Cancer Institute. Grant Number: CA-13148-31
- ovarian cancer;
- gynecologic oncologists;
To examine disparities in utilization of gynecologic oncologists (GOs) across race and other sociodemographic factors for women with ovarian cancer.
Obtained SEER-Medicare linked dataset for 4,233 non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic African American, Hispanic of any race, and Non-Hispanic Asian women aged ≥66 years old diagnosed with ovarian cancer during 2000–2002 from 17 SEER registries. Physician specialty was identified by linking data to the AMA master file using Unique Physician Identification Numbers.
Retrospective claims data analysis for 1999–2006. Logistic regression models were used to analyze the association between GO utilization and race/ethnicity in the initial, continuing, and final phases of care.
GO use decreased from the initial to final phase of care (51.4–28.8 percent). No racial/ethnic differences were found overall and by phase of cancer care. Women >70 years old and those with unstaged disease were less likely to receive GO care compared to their counterparts. GO use was lower in some SEER registries compared to the Atlanta registry.
GO use for the initial ovarian cancer treatment or for longer term care was low but not different across racial/ethnic groups. Future research should identify factors that affect GO utilization and understand why use of these specialists remains low.