Skip to main content Accessibility help

Integration of Latino/a cultural values into palliative health care: A culture centered model

  • Hector Y. Adames (a1), Nayeli Y. Chavez-Dueñas (a1), Milton A. Fuentes (a2), Silvia P. Salas (a1) and Jessica G. Perez-Chavez (a3)...



Culture helps us grapple with, understand, and navigate the dying process. Although often overlooked, cultural values play a critical and influential role in palliative care. The purpose of the present study was two-fold: one, to review whether Latino/a cultural values have been integrated into the palliative care literature for Latinos/as; two, identify publications that provide recommendations on how palliative care providers can integrate Latino/a cultural values into the end-of-life care.


A comprehensive systematic review on the area of Latino/a cultural values in palliative care was conducted via an electronic literature search of publications between 1930–2013. Five articles were identified for reviewing, discussing, or mentioning Latino/a cultural values and palliative care.


Only one article specifically addressed Latino/a cultural values in palliative care. The four remaining articles discuss or mention cultural values; however, the cultural values were not the main focus of each article's thesis.

Significance of results:

The results of the current study highlight the lack of literature specifically addressing the importance of integrating Latino/a cultural values into the delivery of palliative care. As a result, this article introduces the Culture-Centered Palliative Care Model (CCPC). The article defines five key traditional Latino/a cultural values (i.e., familismo, personalismo, respeto, confianza, and dignidad), discusses the influence of each value on palliative health care, and ends with practical recommendations for service providers. Special attention is given to the stages of acculturation and ethnic identity.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Hector Y. Adames, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 325 North Wells Street, MM-4116, Chicago, IL 60642. E-mail:


Hide All
Añez, L.M., Silva, M.A., Paris, M., et al. (2008). Engaging Latinos through the integration of cultural values and motivational interviewing principles. Journal of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39, 153159.
Atkinson, D.R., Morten, G. & Sue, D.W. (1989). A minority identity development model. In Counseling American Minorities, Atkinson, D.R., Morten, G. & Sue, D.W. (eds.), pp. 3552. Dubuque: W. C. Brown.
Becker, E. (1973). The Denial of Death. New York: The Free Press.
Berry, J.W. (1990). Psychology of acculturation. In Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology, Brislin, R.W. (ed.) pp. 232253. Newbury Park: Sage.
Born, W., Greiner, K.A., Sylvia, E., et al. (2004). Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about end-of-life care among inner-city African Americans and Latinos. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 7, 247256.
Bosma, H., Apland, L. & Kazanjian, A. (2010). Cultural conceptualizations of hospice palliative care: More similarities than differences. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 24, 510522.
Boyd-Franklin, N. (2006). Black Families in Therapy: Understanding the African American Experience. New York: The Guilford Press.
Bracero, W. (1998). Intimidades: Confianza, gender, and hierarchy in the construction of Latino–Latina therapeutic relationships. Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, 4, 264277.
Carteret, M. (2012). Cultural Values of Latino Patients and Families. (Accessed June 12, 2013).
Chochinov, H.M. (2002). Dignity-conserving care—a new model for palliative care: Helping the patient feel valued. Journal of the American Medical Association, 287, 22532260.
Cuéllar, I., Arnold, B. & Maldonado, R. (1995). Acculturation rating scale for Mexican Americans-II: A revision of the original ARSMA scale. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 17, 275304.
Del Gaudio, F., Hichenberg, S., Eisenberg, M., et al. (2012). Latino values in the context of palliative care: Illustrative cases from the family focused grief therapy trial. American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, doi: 10.1177/1049909112448926.
Del Rio, N. (2010). The influence of Latino ethnocultural factors on decision making at the end of life: Withholding and withdrawing artificial nutrition and hydration. Journal of Social Work in End of Life Palliative Care, 6, 125149.
Falicov, C. (1998). Latino Families in Therapy: A Guide to Multicultural Practice. New York: Guilford.
Fischer, S.M., Sauaia, A. & Kutner, J.S. (2007). Patient navigation: A culturally competent strategy to address disparities in palliative care. Journal of Palliative Care, 10, 10231028.
Gutheil, I.A. & Heyman, J C. (2006). “They don't want to hear us”: Hispanic elders and adult children speak about end-of-life planning. Journal of Social Work in End of Life Palliative Care, 2, 5570.
Helms, J.E. (1990). Black and White Racial Identity: Theory, Research, and Practice. Westport: Greenwood Press.
Krakauer, E.L., Crenner, C. & Fox, K. (2002). Barriers to optimum end-of-life care for minority patients. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 50, 182190.
Kreling, B., Selsky, C., Perret-Gentil, M., et al. (2010). “The worst thing about hospice is that they talk about death”: Contrasting hospice decisions and experience among immigrant Central and South American Latinos with US-born White, and non-Latino cancer caregivers. Palliative Medicine, 24, 427432.
Kohatsu, E.L., Concepción, W.R. & Perez, P. (2010). Incorporating levels of acculturation in counseling practice. In Handbook of Multicultural Counseling, Ponterotto, J.G., Casas, J.M., Suzuki, L.A. & Alexander, C.M. (eds.), pp. 343356. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Kwak, J. & Haley, W.E. (2005). Current research findings on end-of-life decision making among racially or ethnically diverse groups. Gerontologist, 45, 634641.
Lewis-Fernandez, R. & Kleinman, A. (1994). Culture, personality, and psychopathology. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 6771.
Miller, W.R. & Rollnick, S. (2013). Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change. New York: Guilford Press.
Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Care & Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (2010). Serving Latino/Hispanic patients & families in end-of-life care: A guide for hospice and palliative care providers. (Accessed June 12, 2013).
McCann, C.J. & Adames, H.Y. (2012). Dying other, dying self: Creating culture and meaning in palliative healthcare. Journal of Palliative & Supportive Care. doi:10.1017/S1478951512000557.
Phinney, J. (1989). Stages of ethnic identity development in minority group adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 9, 3449.
Ramirez, M.I. (1984). Assessing and understanding biculturalism-multiculturalism in Mexican-American adults. In Chicano psychology, Martinez, J.L. (ed.), pp. 7794. New York: Academic Press.
Santiago-Rivera, A.L., Arredondo, P. & Gallardo-Cooper, M. (2002). Counseling Latinos and la familia: A Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Smith, A.K., Sudore, R.L. & Perez-Stable, E.J. (2009). Palliative care for Latino patients and their families: Whenever we prayed, she wept. Journal of American Medical Association, 301, 10471057.
Tellez-Giron, P. (2007). Providing culturally sensitive end-of-life care for the Latino/a community. World Medical Journal, 106, 402406.
Triandis, H.C., Marin, G., Lisansky, J., et al. (1984). Simpatia as a cultural script of Hispanics. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 13631375.
U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2011). The Hispanic population: census 2011 brief. (Accessed June 12, 2013).
U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2004). U.S. interim projections by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin. (Accessed June 12, 2013).
Villarruel, F.A., Carlo, G., Grau, J.M., et al. (2009). Handbook of U.S. Latino Psychology: Development and Community-Based Perspectives. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
White, J.L. & Cones, J.H. III. (1999). Black Man Emerging: Facing the Past and Seizing a Future in America. New York: W. H. Freeman.
White, J.L. & Henderson, S.J. (2008). The browning of America: Building a new multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic paradigm. In Building Multicultural Competency: Development, Training and Practice, White, J.L. & Henderson, S.J. (eds.), pp.1749. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Zuñiga, M.E. (1992). Dichos as metaphorical tools for resistant Latino clients. Psychotherapy, 28, 480483.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Integration of Latino/a cultural values into palliative health care: A culture centered model

  • Hector Y. Adames (a1), Nayeli Y. Chavez-Dueñas (a1), Milton A. Fuentes (a2), Silvia P. Salas (a1) and Jessica G. Perez-Chavez (a3)...


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.