Racial Differences in End-of-Life Care

October 20, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Racial differences in quality of care in the last month of life are addressed in a research letter published October 9, 2017, in JAMA Internal Medicine. The authors analyzed 2011–2015 survey data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, which provides data on late life functioning from a prospective national cohort of Medicare participants age 65 years or older. The data were gleaned from interviews with proxy respondents (usually a family member or close friend) for 1,106 recently deceased patients (825 white patients and 281 black patients). The survey asked about the care and experiences of the decedent in the last month of his or her life, regarding pain and symptom management, decision-making, emotional support, and overall quality of care.

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