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date: 19 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how race or ethnicity affects access to, and the quality of, palliative care by focusing on the experience of African Americans and Hispanics. More specifically, it considers how cultural beliefs, values, and preferences may influence care. It begins by looking at racial and ethnic disparities that exist throughout the health-care continuum, from disease prevention, early diagnosis, and curative treatment, to communication and pain management, lower rates of advance care planning, and lower utilization of hospice and palliative care services. It then explores the preferences of African Americans and Hispanics when it comes to end-of-life care, as well as the role of spirituality and faith in how they cope with illness. The chapter concludes by suggesting strategies and future directions for health-care providers, organizations, policymakers, and researchers on how to improve care for patients of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Keywords: race, ethnicity, palliative care, African Americans, Hispanics, cultural beliefs, pain management, advance care planning, end-of-life care, spirituality

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