Objective: To profile communication and recommendations reported by adults with terminal illness and explore differences by patient and physician characteristics. Method: This pilot was a cross-sectional study sample of 90 patients (39 Caucasian, 51 African American) with advanced heart failure or cancer. Participants completed an in-person, race-matched interview. Results: Participation was high (94%). Discussion about end-of-life topics was low. For example, only 30% reported discussion of advance directives, and 22% reported their physician inquired about spiritual support. Participants with cancer were significantly more likely to be receiving pain and/or symptom management at home, aware of prognosis, and participating in hospice. African American participants who were under the care of African American physicians were less likely to report pain and/or symptom management than other racial matches. Discussion: Although additional research on factors related to communication is important, initiation of patient-centered counseling by all physicians with seriously ill patients is essential.
- End of life
- Processes of care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies