Integrative Review of the Literature on Hispanics and Hospice

Margaret L. Rising, Dena S. Hassouneh, Kristin F. Lutz, Christopher Lee, Patricia Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The provision of optimal end-of-life care to Hispanics receiving hospice care requires familiarity with hospice-specific variables. For example, a preference for nondisclosure of terminal prognosis in some Hispanics is incongruous with traditional hospice practice. In addition, the Spanish word for hospice, “hospicio,” has negative connotations about abandonment of loved ones. Added to cultural considerations are socioeconomic considerations. Many marginalized Hispanic individuals may experience distinct challenges when enrolling in hospice due to socioeconomic hardships relating to poverty, citizenship, and lack of insurance. This systematic integrative review examines the research literature on Hispanics and hospice to report on the state of the science for this topic. Reviewed articles were identified systematically using computer research databases and inclusion and exclusion criteria. Of the 21 reviewed articles, many are survey and low-inference qualitative designs with limited validity and trustworthiness. Most survey instruments were not validated for Spanish language or Hispanic culture. None of the qualitative studies included theoretical sampling or follow-up interviews. Few study designs considered heterogeneity within the Hispanic population. Interpreting results cautiously, there is evidence that some Hispanics find some satisfaction with hospice care in spite of cultural incongruities and socioeconomic challenges. Future research calls for intervention studies and high-inference qualitative designs to gain insight into hospice experiences and what constitutes quality hospice care from the perspectives of Hispanic subgroups. Assessing quality and designing interventions for these end-of-life cultural and socioeconomic issues will improve end-of-life care and facilitate the hospice philosophy of promoting emotional growth at end of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-554
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • Mexican
  • end of life
  • hospice
  • integrative review
  • terminal
  • terminal prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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