MA IDS Thesis Projects


End-of-Life Care in the Hmong-American Community: A Tool for Health Care Providers at Gundersen Health System

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences


International Development and Service

Degree Name

International Development and Service, MA


The United States health care system has caused cross-cultural controversy over the past several decades. The prominence and evolution of Westernized medicine in the United States has inconspicuously created the notion that biomedical practices are superior to other forms of health and healing. As a result, health care systems have experienced a decline in patient satisfaction and quality of care for minority patients, particularly within the Hmong-American community in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In efforts to eliminate the health disparities that minorities face, health care systems have implemented cross-cultural intervention strategies at organization, clinical, and provider levels. However, issues persist, particularly at the provider level of end-of-life care. Research indicates that ethnic minorities living in Western societies have lower access to end-of-life services and support when compared to dominant populations (Seymour et al., 2007). This paper addresses the barriers that Hmong Americans face within the United States health care system, specifically during end-of-life care, and introduces a framework of culturally sensitive practices in order to formulate suggestions and practical solutions that address the health disparities Hmong Americans experience during end-of-life care.

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