246656 Achieving cultural relevancy in an end of life decision making initiative: MOLST in Massachusetts

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Joanne L. Calista, MS, LICSW , Executive Director, Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center, Inc. (CM AHEC), Worcester, MA
Christine McCluskey, RN, MPH , Center for Health Policy and Research, Commonwealth Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Shrewsbury, MA
Although all health care providers hope for survival of persons with serious illness, even with the most advanced treatment a proportion will need to make plans for advancing illness and eventually consider whether or not they would choose life-sustaining treatment at the end of life. When this occurs, how can we ensure that persons of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds will have access to culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate information and materials during this most vulnerable time? Based on their experiences both with Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST, a demonstration project established through the enactment of Massachusetts health care reform Section 43 of the Acts of 2008) and with an esatblished community end of life coalition, the presentation will: a) describe MOLST, a program in Massachusetts that encourages persons with life-limiting illnesses to consider life-sustaining treatment options at the end of life; b) review community engagement strategies, such as community outreach, key informant interviews, and focus groups, for eliciting multicultural, multi-population community input; c) discuss strategies for recruiting and conducting focus groups; and d) identify cultural and population adaptations that can be made in order to refine health educational materials.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will identify engagement strategies for eliciting community input for health-related and end of life educational materials. 2. Participants will identify four strategies for conducting population and culture-sensitive focus groups. 3. Participants will name three methods to modify health education materials to enhance relevance for target populations.

Keywords: End-of-Life Care, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In collaboration with the second author Christinee McCluskey, I developed and implemented the MOLST conmmunity education outreach focus groups, participated in the development of the educational materials and strategies, and served on the MA MOLST steering committee.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.