Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Eileen Fry-Bowers, PhD, JD, RN, CPNP-PC, Chairperson; Ruth A. Bush, PhD, MPH Committee member; Caroline Etland PhD, RN Committee member


Palliative care, ethnicity, readmissions, heart failure


Specific Aim: The aim of this dissertation is to analyze the relationships between ethnicity, palliative care consultation and readmissions in the heart failure population at a community hospital that serves a large diverse population.

Background: Hospitals struggle with preventing readmissions. There are many interventions that can be implemented to help prevent readmissions, and Palliative Care (PC) is one of those interventions. PC has many benefits including symptom management, improved communication through the healthcare continuum, understanding of illness and treatment options, and can be provided in conjunction with curative treatments. Heart failure is one of the most common readmission diagnoses. It is estimated that over 8 million people will be diagnosed with heart failure by 2030. Improving readmission rates among the heart failure population is a priority for all hospitals and palliative care may help improve readmission rates. Scant existing research suggests that readmissions and use of PC varies among different ethnic groups.

Methods: Using a retrospective correlational design, patient demographic information, diagnosis and readmission data was gathered from the hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) for all patients admitted with a primary or secondary diagnosis of heart failure, between January 2016 and June 2016, and analyzed for relationships between the receipt of PC, ethnicity and all cause readmission within the time frame examined.

Results: The researcher analyzed 330 for relationships between receipt of a PC consultation, ethnicity, and readmissions. No statistically significant relationships were found between the primary variables of ethnicity, PC consult, and readmissions, however the relationship between age and readmission was statistically significant.

Conclusion: This dissertation increases knowledge related to the background; use and definition of PC; relationships between PC, ethnicity, and readmissions; and adds to the available published literature. The lack of strength of associations suggests the need for future research to identify additional variables and their possible relationships between PC and readmissions, ethnicity and readmissions, and PC and ethnicity in the HF population. The significance of age and readmissions should be further analyzed

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



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