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Keywords

acculturation, advance care planning, Asian Americans, cultural competency, end of life, Hindu, Indians, spirituality, terminal care

 

Authors

  1. Daniel John, Miriam MSN, RN
  2. Taylor, Elizabeth J. PhD, RN

Abstract

Hinduism is the fourth largest religion in the United States; an understanding of Hindu beliefs and practices will help health care providers deliver culturally sensitive care while discussing advance care planning and end-of-life care for adult patients. For many Westerners, the practice of yoga, Ayurveda, and vegetarianism is used by people striving to live healthfully. However, what might be unfamiliar to Westerners is how for Hindus, these practices reflect their millennia-old spirituality and religiosity. Knowing the Hindu beliefs of atman, Brahman, karma, and moksha will help nurses connect to Hindus' various end-of-life wishes. In addition, getting familiar with interrelating factors such as lack of knowledge on palliative care and advance care planning, family dynamics, acculturation, and personal preferences will allow nurses to provide culturally competent care. By facilitating end-of-life conversations at an early stage, nurses can promote confidence and self-efficacy for patients who may fear that their religiosity and personal priorities are trivialized by acculturated family members or disregarded by their adopted homeland. This clinical article provides nurses with information about Asian Indian American Hindus' beliefs and practices, clinical implications for assessment, and suggestions to support patients' and families' end-of-life wishes.