Background: Research suggests that racial differences in end-of-life care persist even among patients enrolled in hospice. Objective: The objective of the study was to examine the association between bereaved family members' satisfaction with hospice services and the proportion of African American (AA) patients in hospice. Methods: The 2007 and 2008 Family Evaluation of Hospice Care (FEHC) Survey examined family members' perceptions of the quality of care on several dimensions including: unmet need for pain, dyspnea, and emotional support; being informed about the patient's condition and what to expect as the patient was dying; being informed about medications and treatments for symptoms; coordination of care; and overall satisfaction with care. We examined the association between family members' perception along each domain and the proportion of AAs served by hospices surveyed. Results: Of the 11,892 AA decedents in 678 hospice programs, 53.7% were female. The leading cause of death was cancer (51.6%). On univariate analysis, family members of decedents who died in hospices that had higher proportions of AAs were less likely to have concerns about unmet pain needs (odds ratio [OR] 0.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.72-0.98), more likely to have concerns about coordination of care (1.28, 1.17-1.40), and less likely to perceive care as excellent or very good (0.73, 0.63-0.84). Coordination-of-care concerns and lower overall rating of care persisted in multivariable analyses. There were no other significant associations between family perceptions and proportions of AAs in hospice. Conclusions: Among hospices with higher proportions of AAs, family members have more concerns about coordination of care and have lower overall perceptions of quality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine