The experience of dying for Chinese nursing home residents: cultural considerations

J Gerontol Nurs. 2005 Aug;31(8):26-32; quiz 52-3. doi: 10.3928/0098-9134-20050801-11.


Given the increase of cultural diversity of the elderly population in the United States, there is a need for increased sensitivity of culturally diverse residents. Research on the care of terminally ill Chinese elderly individuals in nursing homes is limited. As part of a larger study on end-of-life care in nursing homes, data were obtained on 34 Chinese residents. Data were obtained through participant observation, event analysis, and in-depth interviews with residents and their families, nursing staff, and physicians. The process of providing care was observed from the time residents were identified as terminally ill until their death. The most significant factors influencing the care Chinese residents received were communication barriers, dislike of Western food, and differing cultural beliefs and customs. These findings offer valuable information in helping to develop and implement interventions to improve the terminal care of Chinese elderly individuals in nursing homes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged / psychology*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Americans / ethnology*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Death / ethnology*
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • California
  • China / ethnology
  • Communication Barriers
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Family / ethnology
  • Fear
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Nursing / organization & administration
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Homes* / organization & administration
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminal Care / organization & administration
  • Terminal Care / psychology*
  • Transcultural Nursing / organization & administration