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Planting the Seeds

The Role of Latino Lay Health Advisors in End-of-Life Care

Hagwood, Dell N., MSN, MDiv, RN; Larson, Kim L., PhD, RN, MPH, FNAP

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: June 2019 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 223–228
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000513
Feature Articles

Latinos are less likely to have an advance care plan, use hospice or palliative care services, and have conversations about end of life than the general population. This article describes processes and outcomes of a Latino lay health advisor advance care planning training program in eastern North Carolina. An exploratory case study was used to understand the perspectives of Latino leaders. Two Latino leaders completed an advance care planning training in 2016. Data were generated from field notes, interviews, and observations. A description of the social and contextual conditions in the study setting facilitated data analysis. The primary finding, “planting the seeds,” was the strategy that began the conversation of advance care planning. “Planting the seeds” meant introducing the topic carefully to ensure the person is ready to listen, the information will be accepted, and capacity will be gained to make informed decisions. Training Latino lay health advisors in advance care planning has the potential to eliminate health disparities.

Dell N. Hagwood, MSN, MDiv, RN, is clinical assistant professor, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.

Kim L. Larson, PhD, RN, MPH, FNAP, is associate professor, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.

Address correspondence to Dell N. Hagwood, MSN, MDiv, RN, 3124 Health Sciences Bldg, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353 (

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2019 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.