Decision making at end of life among Japanese American families

Yoshiko Yamashita Colclough, Heather M Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This exploratory study describes decision making at end of life among Japanese American families. Using qualitative methods including a one-time, semistructured interview, 16 Japanese American family participants described their experiences with the death of 22 family members. A grounded theory analysis led to the development of a model of a process that reflected the influence of age-cohort generational differences and health care providers' involvement. The model also included four dimensions of family understanding. The four dimensions were awareness of the seriousness of the family members' condition, decision making about life-sustaining treatment, readiness for impending death, and experience of the dying process. Each dimension reflected a continuum from low to high understanding. The results suggest that nurses and other health care providers can impact the level of understanding within each of the dimensions in culturally sensitive ways and contribute to improving the experience with end-of-life decision making for Japanese Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-225
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural difference
  • Decision making
  • End of life
  • Family autonomy
  • Japanese Americans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Family Practice


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