Health-Related Decisions for Serious Illness Among Ethnically Diverse Older Adults

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Abstract

We investigated the influence of sociodemographic factors, acculturation, ethnicity, health status, and spirituality on older adults' health-related decisions when confronted with a choice between competing options. The sample included 451 participants: African Americans (15.74%), Afro-Caribbeans (25.5%), European Americans (36.36%), and Hispanic Americans (22.4%). Compared with others, European Americans and Hispanic Americans favored quality of life over a lengthy life. Sociodemographic factors, acculturation, ethnicity, health status, and spirituality accounted for variations of decisions. The variability of decisions calls for multiple care options to explore the value of different trade-offs in order to avoid predetermined clinical practice guidelines, especially in nursing.

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