Background and aims: Use of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tubes in older adults remains controversial. This cross-sectional study examines community-dwelling Mexican American older adults' attitudes toward PEG tube placement in the hypothetical event of a terminal illness. Methods: Interviews were conducted with 100 community-dwelling Mexican American (MA's) adults, age 60 and over, in San Antonio, Texas. Subjects were screened for cognitive competence using Folstein's mini-mental examination. This was followed by an evaluation of socioeconomic status, depressive symptoms, religiosity, health status and attitudes toward end-of-life care, including PEG tube feeding. Results: Higher income MA's, professionals, those without a living will, those who saw religious belief as not important and those who attended church less than once a month were more likely to agree with PEG placement (all P < 0.05). Logistic regression analysis revealed that higher income (OR = 3.16, CI = 1.13-8.83), lack of a living will (OR = 3.34, CI = 1.03-20.87) and low importance of religious beliefs (OR = 7.14, CI = 1.25-41.67) were all independently associated with the desire for insertion of a PEG tube at the end of life. Conclusions: This is the first community-based study to describe older Mexican American's attitudes toward PEG tube placement at the end of life. Older community-dwelling Mexican Americans with higher incomes, lack of a living will or low religious involvement might be more likely to choose PEG tube placement even in the context of a terminal condition.
- End of life
- Mexican American
- Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology