Discussing End-of-Life Care Preferences With Family: Role of Race and Ethnicity

Lindsay J. Peterson, Kathryn Hyer, Hongdao Meng, Debra Dobbs, Alyssa Gamaldo, Kevin O’Neil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study examined racial, ethnic, and other factors associated with whether older adults discussed their end-of-life (EOL) care wishes with family. A sample of 223 White, 95 African American, and 46 Hispanic adults aged 50 and older from a five-county area of Florida answered questions about sociodemographics, health, and preferences for involving family/friends in health-care decision-making. Analyses describe associations between whether discussions occurred and race/ethnicity and other factors, including preferences for family/friend involvement in health care. In descriptive analyses, one third (n = 113) had not discussed EOL care. No differences were evident between African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites. In multivariate analyses, EOL care discussions were less likely for Hispanics. Further analysis showed this lower likelihood existed among Hispanics with lesser family/friend involvement. Ethnicity influences EOL care discussion, moderated by family/friend involvement, though results are considered preliminary. Knowing the involvement of patients’ family/friends could help providers initiate EOL care discussions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-844
Number of pages22
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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