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Factors That Impact End-of-Life Decision Making in African Americans With Advanced Cancer

Posted Aug 11 2010 4:50am
"African Americans are more likely than w hites to die in the hospital, and unfortunately, deaths in acute-care settings are sometimes characterized by long periods of futile, life-sustaining treatment; inadequate pain management; and poor communication w ith the healthcare team."  

"To develop interventions to increase access to compassionate EOL care for African Americans, we must understand more about the factors that lead African Americans to choose options regardless of the setting of care."  In response to this gap in the know ledge base, a pilot study just published in Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing was guided by the follow ing research question: What individual, clinical, and social factors influence African Americans w ho have been diagnosed w ith a life-limiting illness to choose hospice or other options for EOL care?

Analysis of the transcripts revealed five themes that provide insight into factors that influence EOL decision making: (1) physician involvement in decision making, (2) family involvement in decision making, (3) quality of life, (4) religion and spirituality, and (5) communication about diagnosis and prognosis.

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