Geographic Variation in Mortality Among Children and Adolescents Diagnosed With Cancer in Tennessee. Does Race Matter?

J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2016 Mar-Apr;33(2):129-36. doi: 10.1177/1043454215600155. Epub 2015 Oct 12.


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death among children in the United States. Previous research has examined geographic variation in cancer incidence and survival, but the geographic variation in mortality among children and adolescents is not as well understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate geographic variation by race in mortality among children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer in Tennessee. Using an innovative combination of spatial and nonspatial analysis techniques with data from the 2004-2011 Tennessee Cancer Registry, pediatric deaths were mapped and the effect of race on the proximity to rural areas and clusters of mortality were explored with multivariate regressions. The findings revealed that African American children and adolescents in Tennessee were more likely than their counterparts of other races to reside in rural areas with close proximity to mortality clusters of children and adolescents with a cancer. Findings have clinical implications for pediatric oncology nurses regarding the delivery of supportive care at end of life for rural African American children and adolescents.

Keywords: adolescents; cancer; children; health services research.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Geography, Medical
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Racial Groups
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Population
  • Tennessee / epidemiology
  • United States