Health-care decisions at the latter end of the lifespan are meaningful communicative experiences that can have important consequences for the health and well being of older adults. Using problematic integration theory as a guiding framework, I examined patterns of communication involved with the personal health-care decisions of older adults. I conducted interviews with sixty-two older adults in the process of considering a major health-care decision. Thematic analysis revealed that as older adults attempted to integrate and make sense of incongruent information related to their health-care decisions, interactions with physicians, adult children, spouses, and friends were influential. Additionally, overcoming avoidance, managing uncertainty, and reaching acceptance emerged in the health-care decision experiences of older adults in ways meaningful for problematic integration.
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