Church Matters: Education About Advance Care Planning and End-of-Life Care in Black Churches : Family & Community Health

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Church Matters

Education About Advance Care Planning and End-of-Life Care in Black Churches

Campbell, Cathy L. PhD, RN; Williams, Ishan C. PhD; Campbell, Lisa C. PhD

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Family & Community Health 46(3):p 176-180, July/September 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000365


For many African American adults, the church has the potential to be a place to receive education about advance care planning (ACP). The current study was conducted to (1) identify the frequency of ACP conversations and caregiving and (2) evaluate interest in church-placed end-of-life (EOL) care education. Data were collected from parishioners in 2 African American churches in an urban city in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Individuals older than 50 years reported a higher frequency of caregiving (P < .001) and were more likely to have talked to someone about EOL care (P < .001) than individuals younger than 50 years. Nearly all respondents considered EOL conversations “important” or “very important” (99.1%) and wanted more information about EOL conversations available via the church (95.8%). Our findings suggest EOL conversations are happening within families and with health care providers, but they are not documented in ways (eg, in writing) that research has focused on previously. Future EOL education will focus more on the importance of documenting and sharing EOL care wishes with family and health care professionals.

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