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Rural Dementia Caregivers in Southwest Texas: An Exploratory Study of Advance Directives and End-of-Life Proxy Decision Making.

Authors
  • Kwak, Jung
  • Xie, Bo
  • Champion, Jane D
  • Fleischmann, Kenneth R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of gerontological nursing
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2019
Volume
45
Issue
9
Pages
11–17
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3928/00989134-20190530-01
PMID: 31211401
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

For a growing number of persons with dementia (PWDs), advance care planning (ACP) can help families make important end-of-life (EOL) care decisions that reflect PWDs' values and preferences. The current exploratory study aimed to understand advance directive planning and decision making among PWDs and caregivers. A survey was conducted with a convenience sample of 47 ethnically diverse PWD caregivers recruited from rural health care facilities in Southwest Texas. Sixty-eight percent of PWDs and caregivers were Hispanic. The majority of PWDs had completed an advance directive (60%) and preferred equally shared decision making between family (including the PWD) and physicians (57%). Under a hypothetical EOL scenario for PWDs, caregivers chose comfort (40%) and palliative care treatment (55%) more than other goals and treatment options. In this scenario, Hispanic PWDs were less likely than non-Hispanic White counterparts to complete an advance directive (48% vs. 81%, p < 0.05) and to choose only pain and symptom management (46% vs. 81%, p < 0.05). Although the overall ACP rates among rural PWDs may be comparable to those for the general PWD population, ethnic differences exist. More culturally competent education efforts are needed to promote ACP among PWDs in culturally diverse rural communities. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 45(9), 11-17.]. Copyright 2019, SLACK Incorporated.

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