Delivering Equitable Care to Underserved Neuro-oncology Populations

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2021 Mar;41:1-9. doi: 10.1200/EDBK_320803.

ABSTRACT

It is widely recognized that subspecialized multidisciplinary care improves neuro-oncology outcomes. Optimizing patient outcomes relies on the expertise of the treating physicians, neuroradiology and neuropathology, and supportive services familiar with common neurologic syndromes that occur after brain tumor diagnosis and treatment. Despite an increasing number of providers, patient access to specialized multidisciplinary care and clinical trials remains limited. Barriers to equitable health care exist across the United States, with marginalized communities being impacted disproportionately. Such disparity causes increased morbidity and mortality for patients from backgrounds with various elements of diversity. Limited attention to this inequity has resulted in an incomplete understanding of the spectrum of experiences that patients with neuro-oncologic diseases encounter. Clinical trials represent the highest standard and quality of care in medicine, but inclusion of under-represented and underserved groups consistently lags behind counterpart participants from majority racial and ethnic groups. Through provider education as it pertains to issues from bias and health literacy to increasing clinical trial enrollment and offering opportunities through telemedicine, opportunities for improving access to high-quality neuro-oncologic care are explored.

PMID:33830829 | DOI:10.1200/EDBK_320803