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J Gerontol Nurs. 2007 May;33(5):20-9; quiz 30-1.

The circle of life: end-of-life care and death rituals for Hmong-American elders.

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Stanford Geriatric Education Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, USA.


The Hmong are an ethnic minority from Southeast Asia who constitute a growing U.S. population. Gerontological nurses need to understand the cultural meaning and rituals associated with dying, death, and the bereavement process of Hmong Americans. Critical to this is the structure and role of clan and family as a source of support and their involvement in the decision-making process. In this article, we provide an overview of the traditional spiritual beliefs related to life and death with implications for end-of-life and postmortem care. Information was acquired through invited field experiences. Published literature and consultation with Hmong elders were used to clarify, enhance, and validate this understanding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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