Title

Understanding end of life choices in the aging minority population of South Florida: Policy implications

Location

Atlanta, Ga.

Publication Date / Copyright Date

11-6-2017

Abstract

. One purpose of this study was to understand current knowledge, experiences, and preferences for end of life care among racial and ethnic subgroups in South Florida. Participants were recruited from 10 targeted health related events including health fairs and underserved clinics in South Florida. Two hundred forty-nine respondents completed the survey. Of those who completed the survey, 79.9% identified as African American, Caribbean, Latino/Hispanic, or other. Twenty-eight percent of the respondents were 65 or older and 27% were between the ages of 45-64. Age was associated with knowledge of the term hospice care, but not with knowledge of the terms curative care or palliative care. Likewise, age was associated with knowing someone who had received hospice care but not with knowing someone who received curative or palliative care at the end of life. Age was also associated with the preference for doing everything possible to keep someone they might know alive at the end of life even if no cure is possible and with wanting them to receive hospice care. Age was not associated with a preference for reducing suffering (e.g. pain medication) or with allowing a person to die naturally. Our research suggests that policy, as well as future research, should consider the relative importance of knowledge versus experience in how this minority aging population forms end of life care preferences.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences

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