End-of-life treatment preference among low-income older adults: a race/ethnicity comparison study.

Research paper by Eunjeong E Ko, Jaehoon J Lee

Indexed on: 19 Aug '14Published on: 19 Aug '14Published in: Journal of health care for the poor and underserved


Racial/ethnic minority older adults in low-income status might be at a greater risk than others of developing chronic illness. We sought to examine the effects of race/ethnicity on end-of-life (EOL) treatment preference among low-income older adults.A cross-sectional study surveyed 256 low-income older adults (90 Whites, 82 Hispanics, 84 Blacks) in a California city.Hierarchical multiple regression results showed that participants with greater religiosity (p < .01) or more frequent doctors' visits (p < .05) had greater preference for life-sustaining treatments during the final phase of life. Conversely, those with greater comfort about death (p < .01) or a belief that life and death are predestined (p < .05) preferred life-sustaining treatments less often. Race/ethnicity had no significant relationship with EOL treatment preference after accounting for other factors.Race/ethnicity encompasses multiple life contexts. Understanding the influences of both cultural beliefs and individual circumstances on EOL treatment preference is imperative.