Church leaders and parishioners speak out about the role of the church in advance care planning and end-of-life care

Danetta Hendricks Sloan, Tamryn F. Gray, Darriel Harris, Theodora Peters, Anne Belcher, Rebecca Aslakson, Janice Bowie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective Despite the increased focus on improving advance care planning (ACP) in African Americans through community partnerships, little published research focused on the role of the African American church in this effort. This study examines parishioner perceptions and beliefs about the role of the church in ACP and end-of-life care (EOLC). Method Qualitative interviews were completed with 25 church members (parishioners n = 15, church leader n = 10). The coding of data entailed a direct content analysis approach incorporating team experts for final themes. Results Seven themes emerged: (1) church role on end-of-life, (2) advocacy for health and well-being, (3) health literacy in EOLC, (4) lay health training on ACP and EOLC, (5) church recognized as a trusted source, (6) use of church ministries to sustain programs related to ACP and EOLC, and (7) community resources for EOLC needs. Significance of results The church has a central role in the African American Community. These findings suggest that involving African American churches in ACP and EOLC training can have a positive effect on facilitating planning and care during illness, dying, and death for their congregants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • African American Church
  • Disparities in end-of-life care
  • End-of-life care
  • Palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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