Race, patterns of care, and quality of care in the USA

Barocas and Penson have offered a helpful new review of racial variation in the patterns and the quality of care offered to prostate cancer patients in the USA. The entire paper is available on line through the UroToday web site.

The basic points made in this review are as follows:

  • Racial variation in the patterns of care of men with prostate cancer has been reported in several studies.
  • African-American men may receive less aggressive treatment that white men.
  • Researchers have now begun to evaluate racial variation in adherence to these valdated quality of care indicators.
  • New quality comparisons, particularly with respect to structural measures, may need to be performed to fully evaluate differences in quality of care.

They conclude that although there is mounting evidence for racial variation in the patterns and the quality of care for prostate cancer, and that this variation may contribute to observed differences in outcome, there are still major opportunities to identify, study, and attempt to resolve other components of the quality gap.

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