Direct Engagement With Communities and Interprofessional Learning to Factor Culture Into End-of-Life Health Care Delivery

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Aging patients with advanced or terminal illnesses or at the end of their lives become highly vulnerable when their cultural needs-in terms of ethnic habits, religious beliefs, and language-are unmet. Cultural diversity should be taken into account during palliative care delivery (i.e., noncurative, supportive care during advanced illness or at the end of life). Providers and systems deliver disparate palliative care to diverse patients. I present 2 strategies to improve how culturally diverse populations are served during advanced illness: (1) health service provider assessment of local populations to understand service populations’ cultural needs and guide services and policy; and (2) interprofessional education to improve multicultural understanding among the health care workforce.

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