Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 September 2016
Hospice is an important method of promoting quality end-of-life (EoL) care, yet its utilization is relatively low in underserved populations. The unique characteristics of a border community—such as a lack of healthcare resources and cultural integration—impact EoL decision making. The aim of our study was to assess the willingness to use hospice care services and its predictors among family caregivers of Latino patients in the United States (U.S.)–Mexico border region of Southern California.
This study analyzes secondary data from a home health agency in the U.S.–Mexico border region. Quantitative data were collected via a face-to-face interview with 189 caregivers of patients enrolled in the agency. Bivariate tests and logistic regression were employed to address our study objectives.
The majority (83%) of family caregivers were willing to use hospice services for their loved ones. The factors impacting willingness to use hospice services included the primary language of the caregiver (OR = 6.30, CI 95% = 1.68, 23.58); trust in doctors to make the right decisions (OR = 3.77, CI 95% = 1.05, 13.57); and the belief that using hospice care means giving up on life (OR = 0.52, CI 95% = 0.30; 0.88). Caregivers who trusted doctors to make the best decisions for their loved ones and English-speaking caregivers were more willing to utilize hospice services, while caregivers who held a strong belief that hospice care means giving up on life were less likely to consider using hospice care for their loved ones.
The willingness of family caregivers to use hospice services for their loved ones is influenced by cultural perspectives about hospice care. As the importance of family involvement in EoL care planning has been highlighted, family caregivers' beliefs about hospice care services need to be addressed within their particular cultural context.