End-of-life communication: Ethnic differences between Korean American and non-hispanic white older adults

Eunjeong Ko, Jaehoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined ethnic differences in end-of-life communication between Korean American and non-Hispanic White older adults using the Health Belief Model as a conceptual framework. Method: A cross-sectional design was employed to survey 217 community-dwelling older adults (112 Korean Americans and 105 Non-Hispanic Whites). Results: Half of the participants had never held end-of-life discussions with significant others. Non-Hispanic Whites were more likely to engage in end-of-life communication than Korean Americans, but the ethnicity effect was not evident in a multivariate analysis. Only participants' knowledge, perceived barriers, perceived severity, and experience of illness significantly predicted the likelihood of the end-of-life communication. Higher knowledge, stronger beliefs about the perceived severity and barriers, and greater experience of illness were related to having end-of-life communication. Discussion: Knowledge and health beliefs play an important role in end-of-life communication which differs by ethnicity. Culturally competent health care practitioners need to consider ethnic variation in advance care planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-984
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • End-of-life communication
  • Ethnicity
  • Health belief
  • Korean American


Dive into the research topics of 'End-of-life communication: Ethnic differences between Korean American and non-hispanic white older adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this