Carolyn Lefkowits on Needs for Palliative Care in Gynecologic Oncology

Carolyn Lefkowits, MD, MPH, MS, assistant professor, University of Colorado Denver, discusses patients' needs for palliative care in gynecologic oncology. 

Carolyn Lefkowits, MD, MPH, MS, assistant professor, University of Colorado Denver, discusses patients' needs for palliative care in gynecologic oncology. 

Lefkowits and a team of researchers conducted a qualitative study where they interviewed patients and gynecologic oncology providers — physicians, physicians assistants, nurses, and nurse practitioners — about supportive and palliative care in their specialty. The study aimed to identify whether or not the needs of the gynecologic oncology population were being met. 

The study found that women want to talk about their prognosis in terms of life expectancy, quality of life, fertility, and possibility of remission. While providers recognize these concerns, they reported finding it difficult to initiate and navigate these conversations with patients. Women said that they would prefer “honest information and frank communication,” according to Lefkowits.