Meeting the Unique Needs of Each Patient and Family
By Helen McNeal, Executive Director, CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) in their recent Dying in America report recognized that research shows a “general pattern in minority populations” of a greater preference for more intensive treatments coupled with lower access to hospice.
To those of us in palliative care who are aware of the disparities in access to care, this was not surprising. But, more importantly, the IOM states, “It is vital, therefore, that clinicians be aware of common differences in perception among racial, ethnic, and cultural groups so that at the very least, they can ask the right probing questions and have a firmer basis for individualized understanding of patients and their families.” [i]