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Religiosity and preferences for life-prolonging medical Treatments in African-American and white elders: a mediation study

TitleReligiosity and preferences for life-prolonging medical Treatments in African-American and white elders: a mediation study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsWinter, L, Dennis, MP, Parker, B
JournalOmega: Journal of Death & DyingOmega: Journal of Death & Dying
Volume56
Pagination273-288
ISBN Number0030-2228
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and Over, Blacks, Chi Square Test, Descriptive Statistics, Female, Geriatric Depression Scale, Human, Interviews, Life Support Care -- Psychosocial Factors -- In Old Age, Male, Middle Age, Multiple Regression, P-Value, Psychological Tests, Questionnaires, Scales, Spearman's Rank Correlation Coefficient, Spirituality, Terminal Care -- Psychosocial Factors -- In Old Age, Whites
AbstractResearch on end-of-life treatment preferences has documented robust racial differences, with African-Americans preferring more life-prolonging treatment than Whites. Although little research has attempted to explain these racial differences systematically, speculation has centered on religiosity. We examined a dimension of religiosity frequently invoked in end-of-life research--guidance by God's will--as a potential mediator of racial differences in such treatment preferences. Three hundred African-American and White men and women aged 60 or older participated in a 35-minute telephone interview that elicited preferences for four common life-prolonging treatments in each of nine health scenarios. The questionnaire included the five-item God's will (GW) scale, a health conditions checklist, a depression measure, and sociodemographic questions. GW mediated racial differences at least partially for most treatments and in most health scenarios. Implications are discussed for understanding end-of-life treatment preferences and why races tend to differ.
Ethno Med: