A multicenter survey of Hispanic caregiver preferences for patient decision control in the United States and Latin America

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Understanding family caregivers' decisional role preferences is important for communication, quality of care, and patient and family satisfaction. The family caregiver has an important role in a patient's decisional role preferences. There are limited studies on family caregivers' preferences of the patient's decision control at the end of life among Hispanics.


To identify Hispanic caregivers' preferences of the decision control of patients with advanced cancer and to compare the preferences of caregivers in Hispanic Latin American and Hispanic American caregivers.


We surveyed patients and their family caregivers referred to outpatient palliative care clinics in the United States, Chile, Argentina, and Guatemala. Caregiver preferences of patient's decision control were evaluated using the Control Preference Scale. Caregivers' and patients' sociodemographic variables, patient performance status, and Hispanic American patient acculturation level were also collected.


A total of 387 caregivers were surveyed: 100 (26%) in Chile, 99 (26%) in Argentina, 97 (25%) in Guatemala, and 91 (24%) in the United States. The median age was 56 years, and 59% were female.


Caregiver preference of patient's decision control was passive, shared, and active for 10 (11%), 45 (52%), and 32 (37%) Hispanic American caregivers and 54 (19%), 178 (62%), and 55 (19%) Hispanic Latin American caregivers (p = 0.0023), respectively. Caregiver acculturation level did not affect the preferences of the Hispanic American sample (p = 0.60).


Most Hispanic family caregivers preferred the patient to make shared decisions. Hispanic Latin American caregivers more frequently preferred patients to assume a passive decisional role. Acculturation did not influence the preferences of Hispanic American caregivers.

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