Recent studies suggest that terminally ill African Americans’ care is generally more expensive and of lower quality than that of comparable non-Hispanic white patients. Scholars argue that increasing hospice enrollment among African Americans will help improve end-of-life care for this population, yet few studies have examined the experiences of African American patients and their loved ones after accessing hospice care. In this article, we explore how African American patients and lay caregivers evaluated their hospice experiences. Drawing from 39 in-depth interviews with 26 participants, we use a modified version of Bute and Jensen’s (2011) narrative typology to organize patients’ and caregivers’ stories into three general categories: narratives of satisfaction, narratives of regret, and narratives of ambivalence. Building from these categories, we discuss the implications of this research for understanding hospice experiences, promoting hospice access, and improving end-of-life care for marginalized populations.


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pp. 151-165
Launched on MUSE
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