Perspectives of elders and their adult children of Black and minority ethnic heritage on end-of-life conversations: A meta-ethnography

Joanna De Souza*, Karen Gillett, Katherine Froggatt, Catherine Walshe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: People of Black and minority ethnic heritage are more likely to die receiving life supporting measures and less likely to die at home. End-of-life care decision making often involves adult children as advance care planning is uncommon in these communities. Physicians report family distress as being a major factor in continuing with futile care. Aim: To develop a deeper understanding of the perspectives of elders of Black and minority ethnic heritage and their children, about end-of-life conversations that take place within the family, using a meta-ethnographic approach Design: Systematic interpretive exploration using the process of meta-ethnography was utilised. Data sources: CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed and PsycINFO databases were searched. Inclusion criteria included studies published between 2005 and 2019 and studies of conversations between ethnic minority elders and family about end-of-life care. Citation snowballing was used to ensure all appropriate references were identified. A total of 13 studies met the inclusion criteria and required quality level using Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. Results: The following four storylines were constructed: ‘My family will carry out everything for me; it is trust’; ‘No Mum, don’t talk like that’; ‘I leave it in God’s hands’; and ‘Who’s going to look after us?’ The synthesis reflected the dichotomous balance of trust and burden avoidance that characterises the perspectives of Black and minority ethnic elders to end-of-life care planning with their children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • adult children
  • Attitude to death
  • decision making
  • end-of-life conversations
  • meta-ethnography
  • race
  • terminal care


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