|Title||Racial Disparities of Possessing Healthcare Power Attorney and Living Will among Older Americans: Do SES and Health Matter?|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Lou, Y, Liu, J|
|Journal||Journal of Pain and Symptom Management|
|Keywords||Advance directives, health care power of attorney, Living will, racial disparity|
OBJECTIVES: Most previous studies considered advance directives (AD) as one outcome, which conceals possible variations of individuals' decisions on two AD documents-living will (LW) and durable power of attorney for health care (PA). To address this issue, this study examined how completions of PA and LW are associated with race, and whether SES and health can partially explain the racial disparities of AD possession.
METHODS: The sample included 9,902 older adults from the 2016 wave of the Health and Retirement Study. AD completion was coded as a four-category variable, including no PA or LW, no PA, no LW, and both PA and LW. Race was categorized as non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and Asian or Native American. Socioeconomic status (SES) was measured by education and household wealth. Health was indicated by chronic conditions and functional limitations. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to examine the racial effects of AD possession and the effects of SES and health conditions.
RESULTS: Older adults who only have PA or only have LW significantly differed in racial identity, SES and Health. The regression results show that being a racial minority was associated with a lower likelihood to have both ADs and only PA. SES partially buffered racial disparities in AD possession, while the moderation of health was not consistently significant.
DISCUSSION: The findings highlight the importance of examining the completions of two AD documents and indicate the necessity of developing distinct and concrete strategies to promote the completion of PA and LW.