Tuesday, July 26, 2005
This month's J of General Internal Medicine has an article about cultural differences in preferences about communication about end of life issues. It's a qualitative study based on focus groups with non-Hispanic whites and African Americans. One of the most striking findings of the study was just how fundamentally important spiritual matters were for the African-American participants--especially w/r/t involving spiritual leaders in end of life discussions/family meetings. Also the participants unanimously agreed that it is important for the physician to inquire about the faith of the patient and family and how that impacts end of life decision making.