Young adults' opinions about hospice and home death

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Background: Exploring preferences for and barriers to quality end-of-life care is essential to improving care for dying individuals. Young adults often are involved or will be involved in decisions about the care of a loved one, and little research has examined opinions about end-of-life care among this population. Research Objectives: The current study examined factors that may affect young adults' opinions about hospice care and home death. Methods: Participants were 1035 introductory psychology students at a southeastern university. The sample was 66% female and 60% Caucasian. The study questionnaire assessed participants' knowledge about hospice, experience with the death of a loved one, and opinions about hospice care and home death. Results: Approximately 44% of the sample reported experience with the death of a loved one from a terminal illness. Hospice knowledge was higher among females, and females were more likely to report a positive opinion about hospice care as well as a greater likelihood of recommending hospice services for a loved one. Caucasians had a more positive opinion of home death than African Americans. Individuals describing their prior experience with the death of a loved one as negative had a more positive opinion of home death than those with no prior experience or a non-negative experience. Conclusions: Young adults' opinions about hospice and home death vary significantly with respect to gender and race. Large percentages of neutral responses suggest that interventions targeted at young adults could significantly impact their views of and ultimate choices about of end-of-life care. © 2009 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc..
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Webb NM; Tucker D
  • Start Page

  • 337
  • End Page

  • 342
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 4