Patient navigator and community health worker attitudes toward end-of-life care

Kimberley T. Lee, Andrew D. Zale, Chidinma A. Ibe, Fabian M. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There are racial/ethnic disparities in hospice use and end-of-life (EOL) care outcomes in the United States. Although the use of community health workers (CHWs) and patient navigators (PNs) has been suggested as a means of reducing them, CHW/PNs' attitudes toward a palliative care philosophy remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine how personal attributes affect a CHW/PN's attitude toward EOL care. Methods: CHWs/PNs were recruited from two state-wide organizations and invited to complete an online survey. We collected information on demographics, attitudes toward the palliative care philosophy, and comfort with caring for patients at the EOL. Results: Of the 70 CHWs/PNs who responded to the survey, 82.5% identified as female, 56.4% identified as black, and 56.2% had a four-year college degree or higher. The mean score on a validated scale to assess attitudes toward EOL care was 33.5 (SD = 4.9; possible range, 8-40). Eighty percent strongly agreed or agreed with being open to discussing death with a dying patient. Higher self-efficacy scores were associated with more favorable attitudes toward hospice (r = 0.306, p = 0.016). Conclusions: CHWs/PNs have an overall favorable attitude toward the palliative care philosophy and may be inclined to providing EOL care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1714-1720
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • community health worker
  • end of life
  • hospice
  • palliative care
  • patient navigator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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