The influence of culture on end-of-life decision making

J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care. 2011;7(1):83-98. doi: 10.1080/15524256.2011.548048.


In their research, scholars have documented racial and ethnic differences in end-of-life care preferences, which have translated into cultural barriers. However, few studies have explained the racial differences. In the present study, focus groups with semi-structured follow-up interviews were utilized to elicit explanations for variance in decision making in a sample of Black and White community-dwelling residents. Participants identified specific cultural beliefs, values, and communication patterns that can be used to promote cultural competency among practitioners who provide care at end of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Advance Care Planning / organization & administration
  • Advance Directives / ethnology
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Death
  • Cultural Competency
  • Culture*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Status
  • Hospice Care
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Religion
  • Social Work / organization & administration
  • Terminal Care / organization & administration*
  • Whites / psychology*