Awareness and Completion of Advance Directives in Older Korean-American Adults

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Korean-American older adults, advance directives, acculturation, Andersen's behavioral health model

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There has been growing concern about racial and ethnic disparities in completion rates of advance directives (ADs) in community-dwelling older populations. Although differences in AD completion rates between non-Hispanic whites and African Americans have been reported, not much is known about the awareness and completion of ADs in other groups of ethnic minorities. Using a sample of community-dwelling Korean-American older adults (n = 675) as a target, factors associated with their awareness and completion of ADs were explored. Guided by Andersen's behavioral health model, predisposing (age, sex, marital status, education), need (chronic conditions, functional disability), and enabling (health insurance, acculturation) variables were included in the separate logistic regression models of AD awareness and AD completion. In both models, acculturation was found to be a significant predictor; those who were more acculturated were more likely to be aware of ADs and to have completed ADs. This study contributes to the knowledge about the role of acculturation in explaining AD awareness and completion in Korean-American older adults and provides recommendations for possible AD educational interventions for this older adult minority population.

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Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, v. 63, issue 3, p. 565-570