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01.12.2014 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2014

Journal of Community Health 6/2014

Health Care and End-of-Life Decisions: Community Engagement with Adults in East Harlem

Journal of Community Health > Ausgabe 6/2014
Nathan A. Boucher, Erika Guadalupe, Luz Lara, Maria Alejandro


This was a model of community engagement for a Hispanic population in East Harlem, New York City to assess health care decision-making processes, with a focus on end-of-life decisions, among older men and women. The design involved two senior center-based semi-structured focus groups conducted in Spanish and English followed by a series of bilingual skills-building workshops focusing on situational decision-making. All program aspects were conducted between April and June of 2013. The themes for the workshops included: “Getting the most from your pharmacist encounter;” “How to prepare for your primary care visit;” and “I am getting discharged from the hospital: what do I do?” For the two focus groups, 21 community members participated, each of whom self-identified as Hispanic or Latina/o. Ten common themes emerged from a two-stage/two coder, grounded theory-based qualitative analysis and included: Where Community Members Receive Care; General Challenges, Cultural Challenges, and Benefits of Health Care in New York City/East Harlem; Key Facilitators in Health Care Decision Making; Key Facilitators in End-of-Life Decision Making; and Perceptions of Health Care Disparity. Themes and their subcategories, discussed herein, may offer guidance for area health providers and health care delivery entities. This project served as formative, qualitative data collection for a larger scale forthcoming community assessment while offering community benefit related to health decision-making, especially end-of-life decision making, in the context of a rapidly changing urban American health care delivery landscape. Application of this synergistic community benefit and data collection model is recommended for similar and other communities in the U.S. and other countries.

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