Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Hospice services provide a holistic approach to end-of-life care to terminally ill patients though there is some evidence to suggest that African American military beneficiary populations may not access hospice care as often as expected. The purpose of this nonexperimental study was to evaluate reasons for the low use of hospice care among the terminally diagnosed members of this population, between the ages of 18 and 64. Kolcaba's comfort theory provided the theoretical framework for this study. The research explored whether a statistically significant difference exist among African Americans military beneficiaries population as compared to non-Hispanic Whites pertaining to their knowledge of hospice care, attitudes and beliefs about hospice, distrust in the health care system, and advanced care plans. This study used a simple random sample of 32 participants (18 African Americans and14 non-Hispanic White) from a military ambulatory care setting in Maryland. Johnson, Kuchibhatla, and Tulsky's End-of-Life Care survey was used to collect data from the 2 groups of participants. Data were analyzed using a one-way multivariate analysis of variance. The results indicate that there are not statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of knowledge of hospice care, attitudes and beliefs about hospice, distrust in the health care system, and advanced care plans based on race. Based on the results of this study, further research is recommended to replicate using a larger sample size to include other minority groups at more than one medical treatment facility. The implication of this study may open up an avenue to policy makers and administrators who are responsible for disseminating information about hospice benefits to focus on improving the quality of the end-of-life for terminally ill patients.