Individuals in the end-of-life (EOL) period may not be fully aware of their prognosis or know they are facing a terminal illness. As Asian beliefs and cultural tendencies intersect with Western values, health care practitioners may find their assumptions about disclosing an EOL prognosis differs from patients and their family members. Disagreements among family members regarding the disclosure of EOL to their terminally ill loved one can result in conflict--making difficult and sensitive times more burdensome. Little scientific evidence is known about first generation Asians who live in the United States (US) regarding their practices with disclosing EOL and how they handle conflict resolution when a family member is terminally ill. The purposes of this descriptive qualitative study were to explore issues surrounding patient awareness of dying and explore approaches to conflict resolution in EOL situations for first generation Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese persons living in the south central, south eastern and northeastern parts of Texas. Face-to-face audio-recorded interviews were conducted and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis elicited three awareness and three conflict resolution overarching themes across all ethnic groups. Health care practitioners must be cognizant that assumed acculturation does not always coincide with Western beliefs regarding disclosure of the prognosis at the EOL. In order to provide culturally and ethically sound EOL care for the patient and their loved ones, clinicians must be mindful of the need to sensitively assess their patient's beliefs and understand the importance of compassionate and diplomatic approaches for conflict resolution in Asian cultures.


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Date of publication

Summer 8-1-2020



Persistent identifier


Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons



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