(HealthDay News) — Asian American or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander patients and Black patients receiving maintenance hemodialysis are more likely to report a range of unmet supportive care needs than Whites, according to a research letter published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Catherine R. Butler, MD, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues surveyed 997 adults who were receiving maintenance dialysis at 31 facilities regarding palliative and end-of-life care. The association between racial and ethnic group and unmet care need was examined. The analytic cohort included 113 Asian American or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (12%), 270 Black (29%), and 565 White participants (60%).

The researchers found that compared with Whites, Asian American or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander participants and Black participants were significantly more likely to report wanting to learn about treating pain (55 and 53%, respectively, versus 39%) and treating symptoms of kidney disease (70 and 68%, respectively, versus 52%). Increases were also seen for these groups in the likelihood of reporting a desire to speak to someone about the meaning of life (23 and 17%, respectively, versus 8%), finding peace of mind (31 and 24%, respectively, versus 17%), wanting help in sharing their thoughts and feelings with those closest to them (41 and 32%, respectively, versus 22%), and finding spiritual resources (27 and 19%, respectively, versus 11%).

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“The study results suggest a need for practice interventions and policy initiatives to promote equitable access to health services, including palliative and supportive care,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to industry.

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