Understanding advance care planning within the South Asian community.Health Expect. 2017 10; 20(5):911-919.HE
Advance care planning (ACP) is a process of reflection on and communication of a person's future health-care preferences. Evidence suggests visible minorities engage less in ACP. The South Asian ethnic group is the largest visible minority group in Canada, and information is needed to understand how ACP is perceived and how best to approach ACP within this diverse community.
To explore perspectives of South Asian community members towards ACP.
Peer-to-peer inquiry. South Asian community members who graduated from the Patient and Community Engagement Research programme (PaCER) at the University of Calgary utilized the PaCER method (SET, COLLECT and REFLECT) to conduct a focus group, family interviews and a community forum.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
Fifty-seven community-dwelling men and women (22-86 years) who self-identified with the South Asian community in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
The concept of ACP was mostly foreign to this community and was often associated with other end-of-life issues such as organ donation and estate planning. Cultural aspects (e.g. trust in shared family decision making and taboos related to discussing death), religious beliefs (e.g. fatalism) and immigration challenges (e.g. essential priorities) emerged as barriers to participation in ACP. However, participants were eager to learn about ACP and recommended several engagement strategies (e.g. disseminate information through religious institutions and community centres, include families in ACP discussions, encourage family physicians to initiate discussions and translate materials).
Use of a patient engagement research model proved highly successful in understanding South Asian community members' participation in ACP.