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The association between ethnicity, socioeconomic deprivation and receipt of hospital-based palliative care for people with Covid-19: A dual centre service evaluation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Sabrina Bajwah, Polly Edmonds, Emel Yorganci, Rosemary Chester, Kirsty Russell, Natasha Lovell, Lynne Marsh, Katherine E. Sleeman

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1514-1518
Number of pages5
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number8
Accepted/In press2021
PublishedSep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: KES is funded by an NIHR Clinician Scientist Fellowship (CS-2015-15-005), and is the Laing Galazka Chair in palliative care at King’s College London, funded by an endowment from Cicely Saunders International and the Kirby Laing Foundation. Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2021. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Background: People from ethnic minority groups and deprived socioeconomic backgrounds have worse outcomes from COVID-19. Aim: To examine associations between ethnicity and deprivation with timing of palliative care referral for inpatients with COVID-19. Design: Service evaluation of consecutive patients with COVID-19 referred to palliative care. Sociodemographic (including age, sex, Index of Multiple Deprivation, ethnicity coded as White/non-White) and clinical variables were described. The primary outcome was timing of referral to palliative care. Associations between ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation with the primary outcome were explored using multivariable regression. Setting/participants: Patients with COVID-19 referred to a hospital palliative care service across two London hospitals February–May 2020. Results: A total of 334 patients were included. 119 (36%) were from a non-White ethnic group; most commonly Black British (77, 23%) and Asian British (26, 8%). A longer time between admission and palliative care referral was associated with male gender (IRR 1.23, 95% CI 1.14–1.34) and lower levels of socioeconomic deprivation (IRR 1.61, 95% CI 1.36–1.90) but not ethnicity (IRR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.87–1.06). Conclusions: This large service evaluation showed no evidence that patients from ethnic minority or more deprived socioeconomic groups had longer time to palliative care referral. Ongoing data monitoring is essential for equitable service delivery.

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