What and when Korean American older adults want to know about serious illnessedit
The aim of this exploratory study was to describe disclosure preferences about serious illness among Korean American older adults. Three focus groups (N = 6, 8, and 9) were conducted with Korean Americans age 65+ from two senior centers and a primary care practice in NYC. Six themes were identified: (1) Disclosure allows patients to make decisions and preparations, (2) Disclosure may cause emotional distress and hasten death, (3) Disclosure may be based on physician error or inability to know prognosis, (4) Disclosure should be based on severity of illness and the need to maintain hope, (5) Disclosure should be based on age, and (6) Disclosure practices of physicians vary by culture. Providing culturally competent care to East Asian older adults requires understanding the importance of family values and traditions, but not making assumptions about the degree to which the patient adheres to these beliefs.