African Americans and other minorities underuse palliative and hospice
care, even when they have access to this care. Statistics from the National
Hospice and Palliative Care Organization indicate that African Americans represent
8% of patients who participate in hospice care, as compared with 83% whites.1 Explanations for the underutilization of palliative
care and hospice services by African Americans has engendered much speculation,
but few data have been collected to further the understanding of this important
problem. To provide the basis for solutions to correct this current state
of affairs, reliable data and a broader societal dialogue are needed.
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