What are Hospice Providers in the Carolinas Doing to Reach African Americans in Their Service Area?
BACKGROUND: Experts and national organizations recommend that hospices work to increase service to African Americans, a group historically underrepresented in hospice. OBJECTIVE: The study objective was to describe strategies among hospices in North and South Carolina to increase service to African Americans and identify hospice characteristics associated with these efforts. METHODS: The study was a cross-sectional survey using investigator-developed scales to measure frequency of community education/outreach, directed marketing, efforts to recruit African American staff, cultural sensitivity training, and goals to increase service to African Americans. We used nonparametric Wilcoxon tests to compare mean scale scores by sample characteristics. RESULTS: Of 118 eligible hospices, 79 (67%) completed the survey. Over 80% were at least somewhat concerned about the low proportion of African Americans they served, and 78.5% had set goals to increase service to African Americans. Most were engaged in community education/outreach, with 92.4% reporting outreach to churches, 76.0% to social services organizations, 40.5% to businesses, 35.4% to civic groups, and over half to health care providers; 48.0% reported directed marketing via newspaper and 40.5% via radio. The vast majority reported efforts to recruit African American staff, most often registered nurses (63.75%). Nearly 90% offered cultural sensitivity training to staff. The frequency of strategies to increase service to African Americans did not vary by hospice characteristics, such as profit status, size, or vertical integration, but was greater among hospices that had set goals to increase service to African Americans. CONCLUSIONS: Many hospices are engaged in efforts to increase service to African Americans. Future research should determine which strategies are most effective.
Johnson, KS; Payne, R; Kuchibhatla, MN
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