Integrating Palliative Care into the Chronic Illness Continuum: a Conceptual Model for Minority Populations

Shena Gazaway, Merry Stewart, Autumn Schumacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Although the use of palliative care has increased in recent years, chronically ill Americans within a racial/ethnic minority (non-White) population underutilize this supportive and comfort-giving healthcare service. Consequently, chronically ill minority Americans experience increased pain, symptom burden, and inappropriate use of healthcare resources compared to their white counterparts. A literature review was conducted to compile and synthesize the current state of research pertinent to improving the use of palliative care among chronically ill minority Americans. Selection criteria produced 18 relevant publications, which aided in developing a conceptual model that assimilated early, episodic, and late palliative care phases along the chronic illness continuum. The goal of the conceptual model was to provide a roadmap for healthcare professionals to use when designing, implementing, managing, and/or evaluating palliative care services for chronically ill minority Americans. The literature review demonstrated that minority patients benefitted the most from culturally tailored, systematic interventions (such as advanced care planning education) in all phases of palliative care, which led to increases in advance directive completion, better symptom control, and hospice utilization. The article concludes with a discussion and fictional case study portraying the importance of culturally tailored early palliative care as a catalyst for engaging minority patients in palliative care services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1078-1086
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Chronic illness
  • Conceptual model
  • Minority populations
  • Palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating Palliative Care into the Chronic Illness Continuum: a Conceptual Model for Minority Populations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this