Teaching end-of-life preparation to African Americans

Delicia Pruitt, Kirsten Weber, Neli Ragina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective This is a pilot study with a primary goal to develop an effective, targeted educational intervention that can serve as a teaching tool to educate African American (AA) population, especially the elderly, on options of end of life (EOL) prior to critical care. Method We first assessed the level of preparation for EOL in the AA community through a survey instrument. The survey was used to determine the deficits in knowledge in AA population in Mid-Michigan regarding EOL choices before and after the educational intervention. Paired-sample t-test was used to assess changes in understanding about EOL planning options. Regressions analysis was used to assess these changes while including several demographic covariates. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results Our pilot data indicated that the educational intervention could be used as an effective teaching tool in educating AA population on EOL choices. Significance of results AA patients are more likely to choose life-sustaining measures at the end of their lives compared to other ethnic groups despite terminal illness. This decision is partly based on lack of knowledge of the available options of care at the EOL. Due to multiple life-sustaining measures, the AA patients are not receiving the care to help them peacefully die. This study provides evidence that physicians will need to increase their educational efforts with the AA population to help them better understand EOL options. An educational tool like the one developed in this study may be helpful and lessen the time of education so that the physician can answer any questions at the end of the session and also empower individuals and communities to take an active role in creating a culture of wellness at the EOL and decreasing morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • African American
  • Education
  • End-of-life choices


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