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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Hospice access and use by African Americans: addressing cultural and institutional barriers through participatory action research

Author: Reese, D.J; Ahern, R.E; Nair, S; O'Faire, J.D; Warren, C
Author Background:
Date 11/1999
Type Journal
Journal Title: Social-Work
Volume/Pages 44(6): 549-559
Subject Matter Action-research; Hospice-care; Blacks-; Spirituality-; Diversity
Abstract This article describes a participatory action research project addressing the problem of African American access to and use of hospice. Qualitative interviews conducted with six African American pastors resulted in the identification of major themes used for development of a scale to measure barriers to hospice. A subsequent quantitative study documenting these barriers was conducted with 127 African Americans and European Americans. Results of both studies, which were used to further social action efforts in the community, indicated the cultural barriers of differences in values regarding medical care and differences in spiritual beliefs between African Americans and European Americans. Results also indicated institutional barriers, including lack of knowledge of services, economic factors, lack of trust by African Americans in the health care system, and lack of diversity among health care staff. Implications for social work practice and policy are discussed. (Journal abstract.)