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Keywords:

  • advance directives;
  • life support preferences questionnaire;
  • Hispanic

Abstract

Little is known about ethnic differences in understanding or using advance directives (ADs). Although health practitioners may presume AD intentions are durable over time, there is no supporting evidence. This randomized study intended to (a) examine differences between hospitalized Hispanic and non-Hispanic patients' AD preferences, (b) assess AD stability, and (c) discover if the Life Support Preferences Questionnaire (LSPQ) influences AD preferences. Hispanics and non-Hispanics showed no difference in AD preferences. However, non-Hispanics were more likely to change AD preferences. The LSPQ itself prompted change in AD preferences, delivering an educational effect with no specific educational intent. Change seen in patients' ADs, even over a brief interval, suggests revisiting AD preferences with patients and their families after hospitalization. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 28: 398–407, 2005.