The importance of spirituality in African-Americans' end-of-life experience

William T. Branch, Alexia Torke, Robin C. Brown-Haithco

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

13 Scopus citations


A profound and moving spirituality provided emotional and psychological support for most terminally ill patients at Grady Memorial Hospital. The authors were able to trace the roots of these patients' spirituality to core beliefs described by African-American theologians. Truly bedrock beliefs often reflected in conversations with the patients at Grady included the providence of God and the divine plan for each person's life. Patients felt an intimate relationship to God, which they expressed through prayer. Importantly, almost all patients were willing to share their beliefs with the authors in long bedside interviews. This willingness to share indicates that physicians can learn about and validate such patients' spiritual sources of support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1203-1205
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Palliative care
  • Patient-doctor communication
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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