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Omega (Westport). 2012;65(2):125-37.

Barriers to completion of advance care directives among African Americans ages 25-84: a cross-generational study.

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Adjunct Nursing Faculty, Montreat College, Montreat, North Carolina 28757, USA.


Prior studies conducted in the area of Advance Care Directive document completion in African Americans have primarily targeted the elderly who are either institutionalized in skilled nursing facilities or are members of faith communities. Few studies have been done concerning barriers to Advance Care Directive document completion that include non-elderly African Americans. The purpose of this study was to identify the common barriers to advance care directive document completion across generations of African Americans ages 25-84. Using convenience sampling among various Baptist denominations of the African-American faith community of Buncombe County, North Carolina, 40 individuals ranging in age from 25-84 participated in multiple focus group sessions. Findings revealed participants shared three common barriers: 1) surrogate decision-making, 2) lack of education concerning advance care directive discussions and completion, and 3) fear and denial. Also revealed were barriers that varied across generations: 1) fatalism, 2) mistrust of the health care system, 3) spirituality, and 4) economics.

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