The Impact of Faith Beliefs on Perceptions of End-of-Life Care and Decision Making among African American Church Members
Sociology of Aging;
August 3, 2016
The article entitled The Impact of Faith Beliefs on Perceptions of End-of-Life Care and Decision Care among African Americans churches studied the insufficient use of palliative care and hospice service among African Americans influenced by their faith belief. The study approached the cultural and spiritual perspective that have an effect towards decision making on the use of hospice service and palliative care among African Americans church members who visited and support patients with life-limit-illness. Even though African Americans underuse the hospice, the researchers found that African Americans support discussion about palliative care and hospice.
Journal Article Summary
The purpose of this article focuses on The Impact of Faith Belief on Perceptions of End-of-Life Care among African American church Members; African American dying patients and those with mental stress of a terminal diagnosis show insufficient use of palliative care and hospice service (Johnson et al., 2016). Most African Americans tend to be known as spiritual family (Johnson et al., 2016) encourage the church presents an opportunity to improve communication about palliative care and hospice service and end-of-life decision making. African Americans are minority in U.S, the study shows that they represent only 13% of the population only 8.5% enter hospice service. Based on the study of a national sample of 220, 000 Medicare patients; compared to Caucasians African Americans were less likely with 20% to enter in hospice service than Caucasians. Because of a small number in African Americans who partake in palliative care and hospice, many African Americans whom are eligible for end-of-life care are disadvantaged for the benefits associated with palliative care and hospice service. The researchers chose a focus group study of African Americans church members who support their fellow congregants with life-limit-illness. Their main goal was to determine the perceptions of African Americans beliefs and the stance about the relationship between faith and end of life care, emotional family impact on end of life decision making; palliative care and hospice resources service; and opportunities to ameliorate communication among lay-man and health professional within families (Johnson et al., 2016).
In the recent study of people with colorectal cancer advised to go for chemotherapy and have had discuss with physician, shows that American Americans were 2.93 as likely as Caucasians to have the inaccurate belief that chemotherapy was “very likely to lead to cure”. Because spiritual and cultural beliefs do not rely on health care professionals (Johnson at al., 2016) stated that as an outgrowth of historical events and social patterns, and not having enough knowledge about palliative care and hospice resources contribute to ineffective communication about end-of-life care. The study also found that the influence of culture on communication when we at among people whom are near the end-of-life because of cancer appeared to be African Americans normally request spiritual-focused information and desired to have a spiritual leader to partake in end of life decision making. It shows these are factors must be considered to improve communication.
Through individual interviews, participants observation and, focus groups, the researchers were able to gather the personal perspective information that influence faith belief near end of life decision making. The researchers found that African Americans were unfamiliar with the term “palliative care and hospice service”, they did not have knowledge of it. The author stated that they found notable emotional distress lie down in spiritual regarding acceptance of death. In article it was pointed that people who held strong believe regarding hospice whether, those beliefs were accurate (Johnson et al., 2016). There were supportive views statement about hospice were often expressed by people who have been and have had experience with hospice. With my perspective it makes a great impact if they improve communication about palliative care and hospice on end of life decision making as the majority have no knowledge about it; and have the African American church given the opportunity to attain this goal.
Point of View
The author mainly focuses on how the faith belief have influence on end-of-life decision making. On the study the participants were two questions about the role that the faith has when people are facing death: (1) How you have you found that people with strong faith beliefs view death from illness? How does faith help people cope with death and dying? The participants said that having faith provides peace, calmness, acceptance, less fear of death, endurance of ups and downs of illness, and less suffering. The article describes how the research gathered the outcomes of the study regarding the impact of faith beliefs among African American.
This journal article focused on micro-level society, it looks at how people define situations, how they create their social world, and how they relate to one another in daily life (Novak, Campbell, Northcolt 2014 p24). The article The Impact of Faith Beliefs on Perceptions of End-of-Life Care and Decision making among African Americans Church Members, the study chose 10 participants to partake on family dynamics. They were asked “How can communication about end-of-life be improved within families? Participants admitted that long-establishes family dynamics influence end-of-life decisions. Although there were disputes ranged from denial of awaiting deaths by the patients, it shows that the family have different views over decision-making authority and potentially faith beliefs.
The evidence provided in this article also resembles “cultural diversity in the end-of-life care” Novak, Campbell, Northcolt, 2014, p354), it provides how Cultural diversity and Faith Beliefs have impact on make decisions on end-of-life care. For instance, Aging and Sociology of Canadian Perspectives states the values of “filial piety” and faith beliefs in the will of God will be required to this among African Americans, Orthodox Jews, and Hispanic similitude to faith; They tend not to use hospice; they prefer to continue life sustainably treatment, Orthodox Jews tend to stick with their beliefs and may insist that life prolonged as long as possible, even if the physician may say that such life care if futile (Novak et al., 2014).
Strength and Weakness
The use of interviews among church members of African Americans were appropriate for this study, and I could agree with this article because it has a key point to what needs to be done on the impact of faith beliefs regarding decision making near end of life of care and the use of palliative care and hospice. The article also uses research from other study and scientist to help reinforce its outcomes. However, the research method used in the article would have been better it looks both micro-level and macro-level society. As known churches have different views based on church doctrine, the researchers focus on same group members of church. On my point of view, they could have improved their study by looking at other church of African American views.
In conclusion among African Americans; faith beliefs, emotional issues, family dynamics, and not having enough knowledge of palliative care and hospice are entwined and impacted decision making about palliative care and hospice (Johnson et al., 2016). The outcomes of the study confirm that the influence of faith beliefs amongst African Americans on decision about palliative care and hospice and demonstrate the chance to improve communication about palliative care and hospice in end of life through collaboration within African Americans.
Novak, M., Campbell, L., & Northcott, H. (2014). Aging and Society: Canadian Perspectives. Toronto, ON: Nelson Education Ltd
Johnson, J., Hayden, T., True, J., Simkin, D., Colbert, L., Thompson, B., & … Martin, L. (2016). The Impact of Faith Beliefs on Perceptions of End-of-Life Care and Decision Making among African American Church Members. Journal Of Palliative Medicine, 19(2), 143-148. doi:10.1089/jpm.2015.0238
http://web.b.ebscohost.com.lc.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&sid=4f1818a5-a388-40b1-a244-e254c313c76d%40sessionmgr101Torke AM, Garas NS, Sexson W, et al.: Medical care at the end of life: Views of African American patients in an urban hospital. J Palliat Med 2005;8:593–602.