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African Americans, hospice, qualitative research, religion



  1. Campbell, Cathy L. PhD, APRN-BC
  2. Ash, Carol Reed EdD, RN, FAAN


This article describes concepts, strategies, and outcomes that are a part of the experiences of African Americans living at home with a life-limiting illness. Thirteen people diagnosed with a life-limiting illness participated in 28 interviews. The constant comparison method of data analysis led to the discovery of the basic social psychological process of keeping faith. Strategies were developed by the participants to find comfort, search for meaning, and define themselves in their social context, including connecting with family and community, connecting with God, and connecting with self. Future studies are needed to explore the evolution of the process of keeping faith over the course of a life-limiting illness and describe the role of religion and spirituality in end-of-life care and decision making, including the choice of hospice care.