A pilot feasibility intervention to increase advance care planning among African Americans in the deep south

Academic Article


  • Background: Despite growing efforts to facilitate advance care planning (ACP) to decrease health disparities in palliative care, low completion rates of advance directives (AD) have been consistently found among African Americans. Objective: The objective was to examine the feasibility of a multicomponent ACP intervention program that integrates motivational interviewing, evidence-based ACP facilitation program (Respecting Choices®), and health-literacy adjusted AD. This pilot study aims to address the unique barriers to ACP engagement among African Americans in the Deep South. Methods: The design was a mixed-method randomized controlled trial design. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and thematic content analysis (TCA) were conducted to identify barriers and facilitators for ACP engagement and to assess feasibility, knowledge, and intention to complete an AD. Thirty community-dwelling African Americans (mean age M = 55.43, SD = 6.71, range = 47-73) were recruited from the Deep South and randomly assigned to receive intervention (n = 15) or educational material (n = 15) at a local university medical center. Results: All participants (n = 30) reported high satisfaction (M = 4.81, SD = 0.44, max score = 5) and increased intent to complete an AD at postintervention. A significant increase in knowledge on AD from baseline to postintervention was observed in the intervention group - t(14) = -3.06, p = 0.01, d = 1.67); no significant change was found for control. Lack of information, mistrust of doctors, and avoidance of discussing death were primary barriers to ACP discussions. Facilitators include ACP education, decreased mistrust, and proactive initiation of ongoing ACP discussions. Conclusions: Feasibility data revealed successful implementation of a brief intervention to increase ACP engagement and willingness to complete an AD among southern African Americans.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Huang CHS; Crowther M; Allen RS; Decoster J; Kim G; Azuero C; Ang X; Kvale E
  • Start Page

  • 164
  • End Page

  • 173
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 2