CONTEXT: The palliative medicine workforce lacks racial diversity with <5% of specialty Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) fellows identifying as Black(1). Little is known about Black trainees' exposure to palliative care during their medical education.
OBJECTIVES: To describe palliative care training for Black students during medical school, residency, and fellowship training.
METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study employing internet searches and phone communication in September 2019. We evaluated 24 medical schools in 3 pre-determined categories: historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs, N=4) and non-underrepresented minority-serving institutions with the highest (N=10) and lowest (N=10) percentage of Black medical students. Training opportunities were determined based on the presence of a course, clerkship or rotation in the medical school and residency curricula, a specialty HPM fellowship program, and specialty palliative care consult service at affiliated teaching hospitals.
RESULTS: None of the four HBCUs with a medical school offered a palliative care course or clerkship, rotation during residency, or specialty HPM fellowship program. Three of four HBCUs were affiliated with a hospital that had a palliative care consult service. Institutions with the highest Black enrollment were less likely to offer palliative care rotations during internal medicine (p= 0.046) or family medicine (p= 0.019) residency training than those with the lowest Black enrollment.
CONCLUSION: Residents at schools with the highest Black medical student enrollment lack access to palliative care training opportunities. Efforts to reduce health disparities and underrepresentation in palliative care must begin with providing palliative-focused training to physicians from underrepresented minority backgrounds.
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.
OBJECTIVE: Despite the increased focus on improving advance care planning (ACP) in African Americans through community partnerships, little published research focused on the role of the African American church in this effort. This study examines parishioner perceptions and beliefs about the role of the church in ACP and end-of-life care (EOLC).
METHOD: Qualitative interviews were completed with 25 church members (parishioners n = 15, church leader n = 10). The coding of data entailed a direct content analysis approach incorporating team experts for final themes.
RESULTS: Seven themes emerged: (1) church role on end-of-life, (2) advocacy for health and well-being, (3) health literacy in EOLC, (4) lay health training on ACP and EOLC, (5) church recognized as a trusted source, (6) use of church ministries to sustain programs related to ACP and EOLC, and (7) community resources for EOLC needs.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The church has a central role in the African American Community. These findings suggest that involving African American churches in ACP and EOLC training can have a positive effect on facilitating planning and care during illness, dying, and death for their congregants.
Background: African Americans with lung cancer are diagnosed at later stages and have high mortality rates. Chemotherapy is considered aggressive treatment near the end of life and prevents enrollment in hospice.
Objectives: This study explored chemotherapy in the last 30 and 14 days of life among African Americans with lung cancer.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was used to gather sociodemographic and treatment data on persons newly diagnosed with lung cancer between January 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. African Americans with a documented date of death were included.
Results: The mean age (N=74) was 64.0 years, 58.1% were rural dwellers, and 59.5% had Medicare. Most had advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (Stage IIIB, 18.8%; Stage IV, 46.4%). In this study, 17.6% received chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life and 27.0% received chemotherapy in the last 30 days of life. No significant associations between age, sex, residence (rural vs urban) and receipt of chemotherapy in the last 14 or 30 days of life were found. A significant association was found between type of insurance and chemotherapy in the last 14 or 30 days of life: Medicare was associated with chemotherapy in both last 14 days of life 2(1) = 4.448, p = .035 and last 30 days of life 2(1) = 4.773, p = .029. A binomial logistic regression using demographic factors, including insurance, was not significant.
Conclusion: Our results indicate a need for improvement in the number of individuals who receive chemotherapy in the final month of life.
Background: Integration of palliative care services into the surgical treatment plan is important for holistic patient care. We sought to examine the association between patient race/ethnicity and county-level vulnerability relative to patterns of hospice utilization.
Patients and Methods: Medicare Standard Analytic Files were used to identify patients undergoing lung, esophageal, pancreatic, colon, or rectal cancer surgery between 2013 and 2017. Data were merged with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social vulnerability index (SVI). Logistic regression was utilized to identify factors associated with overall hospice utilization among deceased individuals.
Results: A total of 54,256 Medicare beneficiaries underwent lung (n = 16,645, 30.7%), esophageal (n = 1427, 2.6%), pancreatic (n = 6183, 11.4%), colon (n = 26,827, 49.4%), or rectal (n = 3174, 5.9%) cancer resection. Median patient age was 76 years (IQR 71–82 years), and 28,887 patients (53.2%) were male; the majority of individuals were White (91.1%, n = 49,443), while a smaller subset was Black or Latino (racial/ethnic minority: n = 4813, 8.9%). Overall, 35,416 (65.3%) patients utilized hospice services prior to death. Median SVI was 52.8 [interquartile range (IQR) 30.3–71.2]. White patients were more likely to utilize hospice care compared with minority patients (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.17–1.31, p < 0.001). Unlike White patients, there was reduced odds of hospice utilization (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.96–0.99) and early hospice initiation (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.91–0.97) as SVI increased among minority patients.
Conclusions: Patients residing in counties with high social vulnerability were less likely to be enrolled in hospice care at the time of death, as well as be less likely to initiate hospice care early. The effects of increasing social vulnerability on hospice utilization were more profound among minority patients.
PURPOSE: Although some research has been done on end-of-life (EOL) preferences and wishes, our knowledge of racial differences in the EOL wishes of non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black middle-aged and older adults is limited. Previous studies exploring such racial differences have focused mainly on EOL decision-making as reflected in advance healthcare directives concerning life-sustaining medical treatment. In need of examination are aspects of EOL care that are not decision-based and therefore not normally covered by written advance healthcare directives. This study focuses on racial differences in non-decision-based aspects of EOL care, that is, EOL care that incorporates patients' beliefs, culture, or religion.
AIM: To test the combined effects of race, socioeconomic status, health status, spirituality, perceived discrimination and medical mistrust on the EOL non-decision-based desires and wishes of a representative sample of non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black older California adults.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study used data from the Survey of California Adults on Serious Illness and End-of-Life 2019. To perform data analysis, we used multiple logistic regression models.
RESULTS: Non-Hispanic Blacks reported more EOL non-decision-based desires and wishes than non-Hispanic Whites. In addition to gender, age, and education other determinants of EOL non-decision-based medical desires and wishes included perceived and objective health status, spirituality, and medical trust. Poverty level, perceived discrimination did not correlate with EOL medical wishes.
CONCLUSION: Non-Hispanic Blacks desired a closer relationship with their providers as well as a higher level of respect for their cultural beliefs and values from their providers compared with their White counterparts. Awareness, understanding, and respecting the cultural beliefs and values of older non-Hispanic Black patients, that usually are seen by non-Hispanic Black providers, is the first step for meaningful relationship between non-Hispanic Black patients and their providers that directly improve the end-of-life quality of life for this segment of our population.
With an increasingly ageing population there will be a rising demand for palliative care, including from older migrants and ethnic minorities. While many (future) physicians are unfamiliar with specific needs of older migrants and ethnic minorities regarding care and communication in palliative care, this may be challenging for them to deal with. Moreover, even many medical teachers also feel unprepared to teach palliative care and culturally sensitive communication to students. In order to support medical teachers, we suggest twelve tips to teach culturally sensitive palliative care to guide the development and implementation of teaching this topic to medical students. Drawn from literature and our own experiences as teachers, these twelve tips provide practical guidance to both teachers and curriculum designers when designing and implementing education about culturally sensitive palliative care.
Limited longitudinal studies have hindered the understanding of family adaptation after loss of a loved one in an intensive care unit (ICU). Based on the Double ABCX Model, this study examined changes in adaptation to bereavement for family members in the first year after the ICU death, with special attention to the effects of race/ethnicity. A repeated-measures design was used to conduct the investigation using 3 time points (1-3, 6, and 12 months) after the ICU death. Data were analyzed using linear mixed modeling. Family members (n = 30) consisted of 60% non-Hispanic Whites and 40% African Americans (AAs). During the first 1 to 3 months, moderate to severe symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and stress were found (60%, 40%, 30%, and 26.7%, respectively). Initially, non-Hispanic Whites had higher depression scores than African Americans. The change in depression and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms over 1 year differed by race/ethnicity. Many family members tended to be at risk of psychological sequelae in the early months after a patient's death in an ICU. Racial/ethnic differences in bereavement process need further exploration to understand the broader context within family members grieve and effectively offer support over the course of the first year.
There is a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial/ethnic minorities related to COVID-19. The importance of reaching groups suffering the most with resources such as advance directive guidance, telehealth, and culturally sensitive education materials is vital to providing quality, inclusive care. A crisis presents an opportunity to unite and problem-solve to help avoid the dire consequences facing inaction. In this way, inclusive responses by hospices, social workers, other community partners during the COVID-19 pandemic can help reach and alleviate the pain of those groups most afflicted. We offer hospice inclusion strategies that align with general pandemic response trends that may lead to greater hospice inclusion beyond this public health emergency.
BACKGROUND: National oncology guidelines recommend early integration of palliative care for patients with cancer. However, drivers for this integration remain understudied. Understanding illness concerns at the time of cancer treatment may help facilitate integration earlier in the cancer illness trajectory.
OBJECTIVE: To describe cancer patients' concerns while undergoing cancer treatment, and determine if concerns differ among African Americans and Whites.
METHODS: A 1-time, semi-structured qualitative interview was conducted with a purposive subsample of cancer patients participating in a larger study of illness concerns. Eligible patients were undergoing cancer treatments and had self-reported moderate-to-severe pain in the last week. Analysis encompassed a qualitative descriptive approach with inductive thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Participants (16 African American, 16 White) had a median age of 53 and were predominantly females (72%) with stage III/IV cancer (53%). Illness concerns were largely consistent across participants and converged on 3 themes: symptom experience (pain, options to manage pain), cancer care delivery (communication, care coordination and care transitions), and practical concerns (access to community and health system resources, financial toxicity).
CONCLUSIONS: The findings extend the scope of factors that could be utilized to integrate palliative care earlier in the cancer illness trajectory, moving beyond the symptoms- and prognosis-based triggers that typify current referrals to also consider diverse logistical concerns. Using this larger set of concerns aids anticipatory risk mitigation and planning (e.g. care transitions, financial toxicity), helps patients receive a larger complement of support services, and builds cancer patients' capacity toward a more patient-centered treatment and care experience.
Background: A major goal of hospice care is to provide individually tailored emotional and spiritual support to caregivers of hospice patients.
Objectives: Examine the association between reported emotional support and caregivers' overall rating of hospice care, overall and by race/ethnicity/language.
Subjects: We analyzed survey data corresponding to 657,805 decedents/caregivers who received care from 3160 hospice programs during January 2017–December 2018.
Measurements: Linear regression models examined the association between caregiver-reported receipt of emotional and spiritual support (“too little” vs. “right amount” vs. “too much”) and overall rating of the hospice (0 vs. 100 rating). Interaction terms assessed variation in this association by race/ethnicity/language.
Results: “Too much” emotional support was less common than “too little,” except for caregivers of Hispanic decedents responding in Spanish. “Too little” support was strongly associated with lower hospice ratings for all groups (compared to “right amount” of support, p < 0.001). In contrast, the negative association between “too much” support and hospice rating was much smaller (p < 0.001) among caregivers of white and black decedents. “Too much” support was associated with more positive ratings among caregivers of Hispanic decedents (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Receipt of “too much” support is a less common and much weaker driver of poor hospice ratings than receipt of “too little” support for all groups, and is not always viewed negatively. This suggests that for hospice evaluation, “too much” support should not be scored equivalently to “too little” support and that providing enough support should be a hospice priority.
Objective: To identify sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment (WWLST) for extremely low gestational age neonates.
Design: Observational study of prospectively collected registry data from 19 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network centres on neonates born at 22–28 weeks gestation who died >12 hours through 120 days of age during 2011–2016. Sociodemographic and clinical factors were compared between infants who died following WWLST and without WWLST.
Results: Of 1168 deaths, 67.1% occurred following WWLST. Withdrawal of assisted ventilation (97.4%) was the primary modality. WWLST rates were inversely proportional to gestational age. Life-sustaining treatment was withheld or withdrawn more often for non-Hispanic white infants than for non-Hispanic black infants (72.7% vs 60.4%; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.92) or Hispanic infants (72.7% vs 67.2%; 95% CI 1.32 to 3.72). WWLST rates varied across centres (38.6–92.6%; p<0.001). The centre with the highest rate had adjusted odds 4.89 times greater than the average (95% CI 1.18 to 20.18). The adjusted odds of WWLST were higher for infants with necrotiing enterocolitis (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.59) and severe brain injury (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.44 to 2.74).
Conclusions: Among infants who died, WWLST rates varied widely across centres and were associated with gestational age, race, ethnicity, necrotiing enterocolitis, and severe brain injury. Further exploration is needed into how race, centre, and approaches to care of infants with necrotiing enterocolitis and severe brain injury influence WWLST.
CONTEXT: Cancer patients' comfort near the end of life is often undermined by unnecessary and burdensome treatments. There is a need for more research examining racial disparities in end-of-life care, especially in regions with a history of racial discrimination.
OBJECTIVES: To examine whether Black adults received more burdensome end-of-life care than White adults in a population-based data set of cancer decedents in Louisiana, a state with a history of slavery and long-standing racial disparities.
METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of end-of-life care from the Research Action for Health Network (REACHnet), a regional PCORI-funded database. The sample consisted of 875 White and 415 Black patients with metastatic cancer who died in Louisiana from 2011-2017. We used logistic regression to examine whether race was associated with five indicators of burdensome care in the last 30 days of life: chemotherapy use, inpatient hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, emergency department (ED) admission, and mechanical ventilation.
RESULTS: Most patients (85.0%) received at least one indicator of burdensome care: hospitalization (76.5 %), ICU admission (44.1%), chemotherapy (29.1%), mechanical ventilation (23.0%), ED admission (18.3%). Odds Ratios (ORs) indicated that Black individuals were more likely than White individuals to be hospitalized (OR=1.66, 95% CI: 1.21 to 2.28, p=.002) or admitted to the ED (OR=1.57, 95% CI: 1.16 to 2.13, p=.004) during their last month of life.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings have implications for informing healthcare decision making near the end of life for patients, families, and clinicians, especially in regions with a history of racial discrimination and disparities.
BACKGROUND: African Americans have low engagement in advance care planning (ACP). This has been attributed to healthcare distrust and skepticism about ACP. A better understanding of these attitudes is needed to address health disparities related to end-of-life care.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the ACP-related values and beliefs of diverse African American communities across the USA and then the perceived value of an inexpensive end-of-life conversational game.
DESIGN: Prospective, convergent, mixed methods cohort study involving fifteen underserved, African American communities across the USA.
PARTICIPANTS: Of the 428 who attended events at purposively sampled sites, 90% consented to the research; 37% participated in one of 15 focus groups (n = 141).
INTERVENTION: An end-of-life conversation game, played in groups of 4-6.
MAIN MEASURES: The validated, 7-item ACP values and beliefs questionnaire (scaled 7 = least skeptical, 49 = most skeptical) was administered pre-game. Post-game focus groups explored perceptions about ACP and the intervention.
KEY RESULTS: Participants had positive attitudes (low skepticism) about ACP with a median score of 12.00 (7.00, 20.00). Values and beliefs did not significantly differ by geographical region; however, rural areas were observed to be slightly more skeptical than urban areas (median score 14.00 vs. 11.00, p = 0.002). Themes from focus groups converged with survey data showing participants valued the ACP process and consider further engagement in ACP to be worthwhile. Subthemes emphasized the need for and value of ACP.
CONCLUSIONS: Skepticism about ACP may contribute to low rates of ACP engagement in underserved African American communities. The positive attitudes uncovered in our study either negate previous findings or suggest reduced skepticism.
Developing solid communication-based partnerships through obtaining illness narratives allows for an understanding of patients' social resources, values, and beliefs and allows an opportunity to provide person-centered care. This study aimed to elicit cocreated illness narratives from persons of color who have serious illness. Twenty patients receiving care for serious illness were interviewed at a large academic medical center. The interviews focused on how illness affected patients' lives and were followed by formation of illness narratives. From the persons living with serious illness, 3 main themes emerged: (1) time, (2) life changes, and (3) family. Participants described how illness did influence their lifestyles and identities but did not define their personhood. Family influence had a lasting effect on participants' values and beliefs, and family presence was viewed as valuable in their current lives. Narratives from persons of color with serious illness can provide an intimate account informing nurses' understanding of patients' illness experiences and may enhance communication between nurses and patients.
Heart failure is a leading cause of readmissions in the United States, although treatment has come along away, palliative care is often not appropriately offered in advanced heart failure. The purpose of this study was to use a large database of national in-patient sample to find out the use of palliative care in acute heart failure admissions. Data from 2002 to 2017 was used for analysis. Simple linear regression was used for trend analysis over the years. Variables that were statistically significant in univariate analysis were used in single-step (entry method) multiple logistic analysis. The use of palliative care was found to be low at 4.1%, although recent trends have shown an increase (from 0.4% in 2002 to 6.2% in 2017). Women (0.3% in 2002 to 6.5% in 2017) and Caucasians (0.6% in 2002 to 6.9% in 2017) had a higher proportion of PC encounters as compared to men (0.5% in 2002 to 5.9% in 2017) and other racial minorities, increasing age (OR, 1.04[CI; 1.03-1.04], p < 0.01), female gender (OR, 1.03[CI; 1.02-1.03], p < 0.01), do not resuscitate status (OR, 10.62[CI; 10.53-10.70], p < 0.01), diabetes mellitus (OR, 1.10[CI; 1.01-1.11], p < 0.01), liver disease (OR, 1.63[CI; 1.60-1.66], p < 0.01), renal failure (OR, 1.40[CI; 1.39-1.41], p < 0.01), acute myocardial infarction (OR, 1.28[CI; 1.27-1.30], p < 0.01), and cardiogenic shock (OR, 2.89[CI; 2.84-2.93], p < 0.01) were associated with higher odds of having PC encounter. In conclusion, the use of palliative care has increased in the United States over the years, however, it is still low as compared to other high-income countries.
INTRODUCTION: While spirituality and quality of life (QOL) are essential components of end-of-life (EOL) care, limited studies have examined these constructs for indigenous peoples. Therefore, the purpose of this article was to examine the state of the science regarding spirituality and QOL at EOL for indigenous people, particularly Native Americans.
METHOD: The Arksey and O'Malley (2005) framework guided this scoping review, which examined 30 articles that included qualitative and quantitative studies, commentary papers, and reviews.
RESULTS: The findings identified five spiritual dimensions: the life and death journey, a belief in spirits, tribally grounded traditions, dominant cultural religion influences, and a family focus. QOL indicators included survivorship, optimization of holistic health, communication, and access to appropriate resources. Death rituals were important EOL elements.
DISCUSSION: Given the importance of spirituality to QOL for indigenous people, clinicians must be knowledgeable and responsive to indigenous spiritual needs to promote QOL at EOL.
BACKGROUND: Indigenous Australians diagnosed with cancer have substantially higher cancer mortality rates compared with non-Indigenous Australians, yet there is a paucity of information about their end-of-life service utilisation and supportive care needs.
PURPOSE: To describe the service utilisation and supportive care needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer at end-of-life.
METHOD: Hospital admission data were linked to self-reported data from a study of Indigenous cancer patients from Queensland, Australia during the last year of their life. Needs were assessed by the Supportive Care Needs Assessment Tool for Indigenous Cancer Patients which measures 26 need items across 4 domains (physical/psychological; hospital care; information/communication; practical/cultural). A descriptive analysis of health service utilisation and unmet needs was conducted.
RESULTS: In total, 58 Indigenous cancer patients were included in this analysis. All patients had at least one hospital admission within the last year of their life. Most hospital admissions occurred through emergency (38%) and outpatient (31%) departments and were for acute care (85%). Palliative care represented 14% of admissions and 78% died in hospital. Approximately half (48%) did not report any unmet needs. The most frequently reported moderate-to-high unmet need items were worry about the treatment results (17%), money worries (16%) and anxiety (16%).
CONCLUSIONS: Utilisation of palliative care services that manage a full range of physical and psychosocial needs was low. Addressing worries about treatment results, finances and generalised anxiety are priorities in this population.
Background: Patients living in rural areas experience a variety of unmet needs that result in healthcare disparities. The triple threat of rural geography, racial inequities, and older age hinders access to high-quality palliative care (PC) for a significant proportion of Americans. Rural patients with life-limiting illness are at risk of not receiving appropriate palliative care due to a limited specialty workforce, long distances to treatment centers, and limited PC clinical expertise. Although culture strongly influences people’s response to diagnosis, illness, and treatment preferences, culturally based care models are not currently available for most seriously ill rural patients and their family caregivers. The purpose of this randomized clinical trial (RCT) is to compare a culturally based tele-consult program (that was developed by and for the rural southern African American (AA) and White (W) population) to usual hospital care to determine the impact on symptom burden (primary outcome) and patient and care partner quality of life (QOL), care partner burden, and resource use post-discharge (secondary outcomes) in hospitalized AA and White older adults with a life-limiting illness.
Methods: Community Tele-pal is a three-site RCT that will test the efficacy of a community-developed, culturally based PC tele-consult program for hospitalized rural AA and W older adults with life-limiting illnesses (n = 352) and a care partner. Half of the participants (n = 176) and a care partner (n = 176) will be randomized to receive the culturally based palliative care consult. The other half of the patient participants (n = 176) and care partners (n = 176) will receive usual hospital care appropriate to their illness.
Discussion: This is the first community-developed, culturally based PC tele-consult program for rural southern AA and W populations. If effective, the tele-consult palliative program and methods will serve as a model for future culturally based PC programs that can reduce patients’ symptoms and care partner burden.
Background: Critical care physicians often have to make challenging decisions to withhold/withdraw life-sustaining treatments. As a result of society's increasingly cultural diversity such decision making often involves patients from ethnic minority groups, which might pose extra challenges.
Objective: To investigate withholding/withdrawing life-sustaining treatments with patients from ethnic minority groups and their families during critical care.
Design: Ethnographic fieldwork (observations, in-depth interviews and reading patients' medical files).
Setting/Subjects: Eighteen patients from ethnic minority groups, their relatives, physicians and nurses were studied in one intensive care unit of a multi-ethnic urban hospital (Belgium).
Results: During decision making physicians had a very central role. The contribution of patients and nurses was limited, while families' input was more noticeable. Decision making was hampered by communication difficulties between: (1) staff and relative(s), (2) relatives, and (3) patient and relative(s). Different approaches were used by physicians to overcome difficulties, which often reflected their tendency to control decision making, for example, stressing their central role. At times their approaches reflected their inability to align families' wishes with their own, for example, when making decisions without explicitly informing relatives.
Conclusions: Withholding/withdrawing life-sustaining treatments in a multi-ethnic critic care context has a number of alarming difficulties, such as how to take families' input correctly into account. It is important that decision making happens in a cultural sensitive way and with involvement tailored to patients' and relatives' needs and in close consultation with interprofessional health care workers/other services.