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A Heavenly Collaboration: Social Workers and Churches Working to Increase Advance Directive Completion among African American Elderly

TitleA Heavenly Collaboration: Social Workers and Churches Working to Increase Advance Directive Completion among African American Elderly
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsDavis, NS
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social EnvironmentJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Volume23
Pagination462-474
ISBN Number1091-1359
KeywordsAdvance Care Planning, Advance Directives, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over, Blacks -- Psychosocial Factors -- In Old Age, Churches, Collaboration, Community Health Services, Female, Religion and Religions, Social Work Practice, Social Workers, Terminal Care
AbstractThe Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) was enacted in 1990 as a guarantee to patients that their wishes surrounding end-of-life care would be honored if they expressed verbally or through advance directives the desired level of care they wished to receive at the end of life. Research shows that African Americans have the lowest percentage of advance directives completed among the major racial groups in the United States despite the PSDA's purpose. African American elderly rely on community supports such as social workers and the church to meet physical and spiritual needs. However, these two entities have yet to collaborate to eradicate the dismal percentages of completed advance directives among African American elderly. This article explores how the religious community and social workers can work toward educating this population on the importance of advance directives and empowering them to take the necessary steps at completion if they choose to do so.
Ethno Med: