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Knowledge, preferences, and arrangement of end-of-life care and decision-making among Japanese American older adults

TitleKnowledge, preferences, and arrangement of end-of-life care and decision-making among Japanese American older adults
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsNakao, K
UniversityNakao, Kayoko: U California, Los Angeles, US
Accession NumberDissertation Abstract: 2010-99051-185
Keywords*Death and Dying, *Decision Making, *Hospice, *Japanese Americans, Developmental Psychology [2800], Human Adulthood (18 yrs & older) Middle Age (40-64 yrs), knowledge, preferences, end-of-life care, decision-making, Japanese American older adults, us
AbstractExcellent end-of-life care extends beyond death. Many strategies have been put forth in the U.S. to promote autonomy and control to ensure wishes at life's end including: "Will/Living trust,""Advance Health Care Directive,""Health Care Agent,""Life Prolonging Treatment,""Hospice Care,""Organ Donation," and "Funeral Planning." The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of different factors including cultural values and beliefs on knowledge, preferences, and arrangement of these different types of end-of-life care and decision-making among older Japanese Americans. Using a self-administered mail-in survey questionnaire, the current study collected data from 248 Japanese Americans age 50 and older residing in Southern California. The results indicate that the majority of the participants showed a high level of awareness and knowledge about each type of end-of-life care. Although most respondents were favorable about making end-of-life plans in advance particularly on the issues of "Will/Living Trust,""Advance Health Care Directive,""Health Care Agent," to which the family-centered value played a crucial role, a remarkably low rate of participants favored planning for "Life Prolonging Treatment" and "Organ Donation." The natural death and family-oriented thinking were shared values and strongly supported by the current participants. Finally, the current study attests that the participants had a higher completion rate for end-of-life arrangements relative to that of the general public. Thus, Japanese Americans age 50 and older in the current study were well-informed about different types of end-of-life issues and relatively well-prepared for life's end. The study recommends more community outreach and education to provide accurate information about end-of-life issues, training of social work with end-of-life or hospice care to improve culturally-sensitive practice with individuals from diverse backgrounds, and expansion of future inquires to identify within and between group differences of ethnic minority elderly to meet the needs of a rapidly graying and diversifying American population, including Japanese American older adults. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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