Just Ask: Hospice familiarity in asian and hispanic adults

Cynthia X. Pan, Olga Abraham, Fatima Giron, Priscilla Lemarie, Simcha Pollack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Context Previous research documents the under-utilization of hospice services by minority ethnic groups, but less data exist for Asian and Hispanic Americans. It is unclear whether these low utilization rates are a result of attitudinal or information barriers, or both. Objectives To examine self-reported familiarity and attitudes toward hospice among Asian and Hispanic groups in ethnically diverse Queens County, NY. Methods We surveyed diverse adults during health fairs, at senior centers, and church programs directed at ethnic populations. Respondents completed surveys in their preferred language: Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), and Korean. Analysis of variance was used to compare continuous variables among language groups; Fisher's exact test compared categorical variables. Results A total of 604 community adults were surveyed: 99 Chinese, 349 Korean, 156 Spanish. Respondents were mostly female, average age 53 years. Familiarity with hospice varied significantly among the groups (P < 0.001) and was lower in the Hispanic (16%) and higher in the Chinese (45%) and Korean (56%) groups. Personal experiences with hospice were low (8-16%) in all groups. A majority (75-94%) responded they would share hospice information with loved ones, but the Hispanic group was significantly less likely to do so compared with Chinese and Korean Americans. Between 74 and 95% reported willingness to receive future information about hospice, but the Korean group was significantly less likely to want information. Conclusion When surveyed in their preferred language, Asian and Hispanic adults reported variable levels of familiarity with hospice services. Most responded positively to receiving future information and would tell friends and family members about hospice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-933
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian
  • Hispanic
  • Hospice
  • end of life
  • familiarity
  • survey


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