Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Susan Greenbaum Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Angrosino, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy Romero-Daza, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mario Hernandez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

June Leland, M.D.


Death and dying, Culture, Caregiving, Political economy, Applied anthropology


This study focuses on how terminal diagnoses impact individuals and families within the Hispanic/Latino community. Hispanic/Latino hospice caregivers, Hispanic/Latino non-hospice caregivers and physicians participated in the study, which explores the utilization of hospice by Hispanic/Latino terminally ill individuals. The data collected from 30 semi-structured interviews, ethnographic participant observations, and archival data were analyzed using structured and statistical analysis. Verbatim transcripts were examined through a combination of ethnographic and content analysis. Barriers related to language and culture, as well as immigration, are critical themes that impact access to healthcare. The physicians' discourses relate patients' responses to terminal diagnoses, including the Hispanic/Latino patients' perceptions of hospice services.

My research also ascertains how caregivers of Hispanic/Latino hospice patients cope with their loved ones' terminal diagnoses, structural organizational barriers to hospice utilization as well as cultural factors that contribute to the under-utilization of hospice services by this population. The findings indicate that higher incomes, higher education, and fewer years in the United States mainland directly affect healthcare decisions and treatment choices at end of life. Female gender and identity also directly impact access to health care, especially hospice services, at the end of life.