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J Aging Health. 2006 Dec;18(6):791-813.

Care at the end of life: focus on communication and race.

Author information

1
Medical University of South Carolina, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To profile communication and recommendations reported by adults with terminal illness and explore differences by patient and physician characteristics.

METHOD:

This pilot was a cross-sectional study sample of 90 patients (39 Caucasian, 51 African American) with advanced heart failure or cancer. Participants completed an in-person, race-matched interview.

RESULTS:

Participation was high (94%).

DISCUSSION:

For example, only 30% reported discussion of advance directives, and 22% reported their physician inquired about spiritual support. Participants with cancer were significantly more likely to be receiving pain and/or symptom management at home, aware of prognosis, and participating in hospice. African American participants who were under the care of African American physicians were less likely to report pain and/or symptom management than other racial matches.Discussion: Although additional research on factors related to communication is important, initiation of patient-centered counseling by all physicians with seriously ill patients is essential.

PMID:
17099134
DOI:
10.1177/0898264306293614
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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