Have You Talked about It: Advance Care Planning among African Americans Living with HIV in Baltimore

Allysha C. Maragh-Bass, Yiqing Zhao, Sarina R. Isenberg, Mary M Mitchell, Amy R. Knowlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Advance care planning (ACP) is the process of planning for when individuals are unable to make their own healthcare decisions. Research suggests ACP is understudied among HIV-positive African Americans. We explored ACP knowledge, preferences, and practices with HIV-positive African Americans from an urban HIV-specialty clinic (AFFIRM study). Participants completed surveys and interviews. Descriptive analyses and Poisson regression were conducted on survey data. Qualitative interviews were coded using grounded theory/constant comparative method. Participants were mostly male (55.1%). Half rated their current pain as at least six out of ten (50.8%). Two-thirds had discussed ACP with providers or supporters (66.2%). Qualitative themes were: (1) impact of managing pain on quality of life and healthcare, (2) knowledge/preferences for ACP, and (3) sources of HIV supportive care and coping (N = 39). Correlates of having discussed ACP included: moderate pain intensity (p < 0.10), including supporters in health decisions (p < 0.001), religious attendance (p < 0.05), and knowledge of healthcare mandates (p < 0.01; N = 276). Findings highlight the need for patient education to document healthcare preferences and communication skills development to promote inclusion of caregivers in decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Urban Health
StateAccepted/In press - May 30 2017


  • Advance care planning
  • African Americans
  • DNR
  • End-of-life care
  • Mixed methods
  • Quality of life
  • Urban health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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