Adult palliative care in the USA: Information-seeking behaviour patterns

Brian T. Cheng*, Joshua M. Hauser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Acceptance of palliative care (PC) in the USA has increased in recent decades with the growing number of recommendations for adoption from professional organisations. However, there are prevalent public misperceptions of PC that may prevent broader utilisation. This study seeks to identify the primary sources for PC information, which may help identify sources of misperception and improve PC messaging. Methods: We analysed the 2018 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), a representative survey of USA population knowledge regarding cancer-related information. This is the first iteration to include questions on PC. Prevalence of preferred PC information sources was estimated; multivariable logistic regression invoking stepwise variable selection was used to determine associations with information-seeking behaviour. Results: Our study cohort consisted of 1127 American adults who were familiar with PC. Overall, 59.3% and 34.0% relied primarily on healthcare providers and internet or printed media, respectively. In stepwise regression models of seeking information from healthcare providers, predictors and their relative contributions to the multivariable model were higher education attainment (58.7%), age ≥60 years (21.5%) and female sex (15.0%). Higher income was the most robust predictor (35.1%) of reliance on internet and printed media for information, followed by being currently married (26.2%). Conclusions: Overall, American adults rely on healthcare providers and media for PC information, with significant sociodemographic differences in information-seeking behaviour. These findings may be used to inform strategies to promote accurate PC awareness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBMJ Supportive and Palliative Care
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • epidemiology
  • information sharing
  • knowledge
  • palliative care
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Medical–Surgical


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