Date of Degree

6-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Nursing

Advisor

Elizabeth Capezuti

Committee Members

Martha V. Whetsell

Daniel S. Gardner

Catherine A. Georges

Susan K. Chase

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Keywords

African American/Blacks, decision-making, serious chronic illness, palliative care, phenomenology, goals of care

Abstract

This phenomenological study explored the lived experience of family caregivers' making health care decisions with or for community-dwelling older Blacks with advanced chronic illnesses. Max van Manen’s interpretative phenomenological approach was used to understand the meaning of decision-making among participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eleven family caregivers. Thematic analysis and interpretation of interviews revealed three essential themes: living out commitments with intention; making meaningful decisions situated in context; and reflecting on the past, anticipating the future. These essential themes culminated in an integrated interpretative statement: “Living out commitments with intentions of making or helping to make meaningful decisions that value the person, reflect past experiences, and anticipate the future.”

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