Background Advance care planning (ACP) is rare among older adults with a migration background because of social, cultural, and religious reasons. This study aimed to explore ACP-related knowledge and perspectives among older adults with a Turkish background and palliative care needs living in Belgium.
Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted in Turkish. Data were analyzed using a combination of inductive and deductive thematic analysis techniques. General practitioners in Brussels and Antwerp recruited participants.
Results All 15 interviewees (average age: 79 years) lacked awareness and detailed information about ACP. While some had discussed certain end-of-life preferences with family members such as the preferred location of care and burial place, many have not felt the need to discuss future care preferences. Expressed reasons for this were mainly their trust in God and in their family to take care of them and take decisions. However, some of our respondents viewed ACP discussions as useful, mainly because of thus relieving the burden on families and being able to answer ‘what if’ questions ahead of time. The self-identified barriers to ACP were fear of making the wrong decision, a ‘live in the moment’ attitude, and difficulties in talking about death. The mentioned facilitators were obtaining sufficient information about ACP and recent illnesses or a death in the family.
Conclusion Healthcare providers should provide tailored information about ACP to Turkish-origin adults with palliative care needs. ACP discussions should also explore the individual’s health-related knowledge and personal values, paying attention to social and religious cues.
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