Culturally Relevant Palliative and End-of-Life Care for U.S. Indigenous Populations: An Integrative Review

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Purpose:American Indians/Alaska Natives (AIs/ANs) have higher rates of chronic illness and lack access to palliative/end-of-life (EOL) care. This integrative review ascertained the state of the science on culturally acceptable palliative/EOL care options for Indigenous persons in the United States. Design: Databases searched: CINAHL, PubMed/MEDLINE, SocINDEX, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, ERIC, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, and EBSCO Discovery Service 1880s-Present. Key terms used: palliative care, EOL care, and AI/AN. Inclusion criteria: peer-reviewed articles published in English. Findings/Results: Twenty-nine articles were identified, 17 remained that described culturally specific palliative/EOL care for AIs/ANs. Synthesis revealed four themes: Communication, Cultural Awareness/Sensitivity, Community Guidance for Palliative/EOL Care Programs, Barriers and two subthemes: Trust/Respect and Mistrust. Discussion/Conclusion: Limitations are lack of research funding, geographic isolation, and stringent government requirements. Palliative/EOL care must draw on a different set of skills that honor care beyond cure provided in a culturally sensitive manner.

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Journal of Transcultural Nursing

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