Advance care planning (ACP) enables individuals to think ahead and define their goals and preferences for future treatment and care. Such a process has been shown to have a positive impact on both the indivdual and those close to them, and is widely considered to be an integral part of best practice long-term care. Implementation in daily nursing home practice however still seems to be a challenge, and research has failed to provide recommendations on how to implement ACP successfully in the complex setting of a nursing home. Effectiveness research has therefore been recommended to go beyond "does it work?" to "how and under what circumtances does it work?".
Towards successfull advance care planning in nursing homes was written as a Joint PhD dissertation and explores how to implement advance care planning successfully in nursing homes. Through the theory-based development and evaluation of a complex intervention, using qualitative and quantitative research methods, this work aims to contribute to improving advance care planning in routine nursing home care in Flanders, Belgium.
OBJECTIVE: Advance care planning (ACP) is a core quality measure in caring for individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) and there are no best practice standards for how to incorporate ACP into PD care. This study describes patient and care partner perspectives on ACP to inform a patient- and care partner-centered framework for clinical care.
METHODS: This is a qualitative descriptive study of 30 patients with PD and 30 care partners within a multisite, randomized clinical trial of neuropalliative care compared to standard care. Participants were individually interviewed about perspectives on ACP, including prior and current experiences, barriers to ACP, and suggestions for integration into care. Interviews were analyzed using theme analysis to identify key themes.
RESULTS: Four themes illustrate how patients and care partners perceive ACP as part of clinical care: (1) personal definitions of ACP vary in the context of PD; (2) patient, relationship, and health care system barriers exist to engaging in ACP; (3) care partners play an active role in ACP; (4) a palliative care approach positively influences ACP. Taken together, the themes support clinician initiation of ACP discussions and interdisciplinary approaches to help patients and care partners overcome barriers to ACP.
CONCLUSIONS: ACP in PD may be influenced by patient and care partner perceptions and misperceptions, symptoms of PD (e.g., apathy, cognitive dysfunction, disease severity), and models of clinical care. Optimal engagement of patients with PD and care partners in ACP should proactively address misperceptions of ACP and utilize clinic teams and workflow routines to incorporate ACP into regular care.
Background: Advance care planning (ACP) is a process that enables individuals to describe, in advance, the kind of health care they would want in the future, and has been shown to reduce hospital-based interventions at the end of life. Our goal was to describe the current state of ACP in a home-based primary care program for frail homebound older people in Vancouver, Canada. We did this by identifying four key elements that should be essential to ACP in this program: frailty stage, documentation of substitute decision-makers, and decision-making with regard to both resuscitation (i.e., do not resuscitate (DNR)) and hospitalization (i.e., do not hospitalize (DNH)). While these elements are an important part of the ACP process, they are often excluded from common practice.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional, observational study of data abstracted from 200 randomly selected patient electronic medical records between July 1 and September 30, 2017. We describe the association between demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and four key elements of ACP documentation and decision-making as documented in the clinical record using bivariate comparison, a logistic regression model and multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results: In 73% (n=146) of the patient records, there was no explicit documentation of frailty stage. Sixty-four per cent had documentation of a substitute decision-maker. Of those who had their preferences documented, 90.6% (n=144/159) indicated a preference for DNR, and 23.6% (n=29/123) indicated a preference for DNH. In multiple regression modeling, a diagnosis of dementia and older age were associated with documentation of a DNR preference, adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 4.79 (95% CI 1.37, 16.71) and AOR = 1.14 (95% CI 1.05, 1.24), respectively. Older age, male sex, and English identified as the main language spoken were associated with a DNH preference. AOR = 1.17 (95% CI 1.06, 1.28), AOR = 4.19 (95% CI 1.41, 12.42), and AOR = 3.42 (95% CI 1.14, 10.20), respectively.
Conclusions: Clinician documentation of some elements of ACP, such as identification of a substitute decision-maker and resuscitation status, have been widely adopted, while other elements that should be considered essential components of ACP, such as frailty staging and preferences around hospitalization, are infrequent and provide an opportunity for practice improvement initiatives. The significant association between language and ACP decisions suggests an important role for supporting cross-cultural fluency in the ACP process.
BACKGROUND: 52% of all deaths in Norway occur in nursing homes. Still advance care planning (ACP) is scarce and heterogeneous. To improve the implementation and practice of ACP in nursing homes, knowledge about health care professionals' views on ACP is vital. The objective of this study is to explore nurses and physicians' aims and experiences with carrying out ACP in nursing homes.
METHODS: Semi-structured group interviews were conducted with 20 health care professionals, recruited from nursing homes where ACP was performed regularly. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data.
RESULTS: The primary aim of the nursing home professionals when doing ACP in nursing homes were to build alliances with next of kin to avoid misunderstandings and future conflicts. Two main experiences with ACP were described: i) due to the sensitivity of ACP issues, it was important to balance directness with being sensitive, and ii) when the physicians raised questions concerning future medical treatment, the answers from residents as well as next of kin were often hesitant and unclear.
CONCLUSION: Our study add insights into how ACP is practiced in nursing homes and the professionals' agenda. A focus on medical issues and achieving consensus with next of kin may result in lack of involvement of the residents and limited awareness of the residents' needs. Interdisciplinary approaches, ACP-training and tailored guidelines may improve the implementation and practice of ACP.
The prevalence of end-stage kidney disease is increasing, particularly among older people and those with multiple comorbidities. Typically, patients who develop end-stage kidney disease receive renal replacement therapies such as dialysis; however, this treatment can significantly affect quality of life and may not prolong life in older patients. Therefore, some patients may choose not to undergo dialysis and instead choose conservative management, which involves a palliative approach that focuses on maintaining quality of life and advance care planning. This article details the steps involved in a conservative kidney management pathway for end-stage kidney disease, including symptom management and advance care planning. It also discusses the importance of a palliative approach for patients receiving dialysis.
Scenario: Mrs. Murphy, a 78-year-old woman has a history of heartdisease. In the last 2 years, she has been hospitalized 3 times for a series of small heart attacks. Last night, she was rushed to the intensive care unit with a massive heart attack, disoriented, weak and confused. She had no advance directives (ADs) in her possession and there were none in her medical record. The admitting intensivist, worried that her heart may stop due to the extensive damage over the years, wrote an order for full resuscitation.
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Context: Advance care planning (ACP) in a healthy general population could improve the quality of care when a health problem arises.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of video decision-support aid in increasing the intention to document ACP in the general, healthy population.
Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, we enrolled 250 members of the general population (aged =20 years and determined to be healthy), stratified by age and sex. The intervention was a video that provided information about ACP and end-of-life care options such as CPR and palliative care. An attention-control arm was given a booklet about advance directives. Primary outcome was a change in intention to document ACP. Secondary outcomes included the intention to refuse CPR at terminal status, CPR and palliative care knowledge score, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).
Results: 250 participants were randomly assigned, half to the video-assisted intervention group and half to the attention-control group. Within 1 week post-intervention, the intention to document ACP was significantly higher in the video-assisted intervention arm (68.0% vs 39.2%; p < 0.001) and changes in the intention to document ACP were significantly greater in the video group than in the brochure group (p = 0.008; = 14.4%). Palliative care knowledge score was also significantly increased in the video group (p = 0.036).
Conclusion: A well-constructed, video decision support intervention can increase the intention to document ACP in the general population that presumably had little opportunity to discuss ACP with physicians.
BACKGROUND: Despite significant morbidity and mortality among patients with decompensated cirrhosis (DC), reported rates of advance directive (AD) completion and goals of care discussions (GCD) between patients and providers are very low. We aimed to improve these rates by implementing a hepatologist-led advance care planning (ACP) intervention.
MEASURES: Rates of AD and GCD completion, as well as self-reported barriers to ACP.
INTERVENTION: Provider-led ACP in patients with DC without a prior documented AD.
OUTCOMES: Sixty-two patients were seen over 115 clinic visits. After the intervention, AD completion rates increased from 8 to 31% and GCD completion rates rose from 0 to 51%. Women (p=0.048) and non-married adults (p=0.01) had greater changes in AD completion compared to men and married adults, respectively. Needing more time during visits was seen as the major barrier to ACP among providers.
CONCLUSIONS/LESSONS LEARNED: Addressing provider and system-specific barriers dramatically improved documentation rates of ACP.
BACKGROUND: Although patients often prefer less rather than more treatment at the end of life, in the absence of contrary instructions, the medical profession's de facto position is to treat aggressively. It is unknown whether a computer-based decision aid can affect treatment choices.
METHODS: Secondary analysis of a single-center, single-blind randomized controlled trial of an advance care planning (ACP) intervention among 200 patients with stage IV cancer. Participants were randomized to intervention (Making Your Wishes Known, a values-neutral, educational, computer-based decision aid) or control (standard living will + brochure). After reading a hypothetical clinical vignette, participants were asked whether they would want 11 medical/surgical treatments in that situation (dialysis, cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR], ventilator, feeding tube, etc). The median number of treatments wanted by participants was compared between groups, and logistic regression was used to compare between-group likelihood of not wanting each specific treatment.
RESULTS: The median number of treatments wanted was 1 in the intervention group versus 5 in the control (P < .001). For 6 of 11 treatments, the intervention group was significantly less likely than control to want aggressive treatment. Most notably, compared to control, intervention participants were less likely to want CPR (odds ratio [OR] = 0.31), short-term mechanical ventilation (OR = 0.34), short-term dialysis (OR = 0.38), surgery (OR = 0.37), and transfusion (OR = 0.21).
CONCLUSIONS: Individuals using an educational ACP decision aid were less likely to want aggressive medical treatment than those completing standard living wills. These findings have implications not only for how to respect patient's wishes but also potentially for reducing costs at the end of life.
OBJECTIVE: The barriers and enablers to the uptake of advance care plans has been well documented but more so in metropolitan health services. Rural and regional areas have their own challenges of higher rates of chronic illness and an aging population when considering end of life care. This study aimed to explore the creation of advance care plans in a regional location that has service links to smaller health services.
DESIGN: A qualitative study involving thematic analysis of interview data.
SETTING: A regional local government area in Victoria, Australia.
PARTICIPANTS: Twelve representatives from rural and regional health services, including hospital, private practice and community organisation staff.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Barriers and enablers to the creation of advance care planning documents.
RESULTS: The data analysis yielded two main identified themes around Plan creation and communication of patient wishes: system and societal challenges to the creation and communication in advance care planning; and rural communities' expectation of the health service-patient relationship and advance care planning.
CONCLUSION: Although barriers to advance care planning are well known, rural and regional practitioners need to be aware of the effect long-term continuity of care from health practitioners and connections with health services has on advance care plan creation, and whether the paucity of written Plans effects end-of-life care. A potential solution was seen in the pending linkages to the national electronic patient record.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the current status of withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining interventions (LSI) for neonates in Japan and to identify physician- and institutional-related factors that may affect advance care planning (ACP) practices with parents.
STUDY DESIGN: A self-reported questionnaire was administered to assess frequency of withholding and withdrawing intensive care at the respondent's facility, the physician's degree of affirming various beliefs about end-of-life care that was compared to 7 European countries, their self-reported ACP practices and perceived barriers to ACP. Three neonatologists at all 298 facilities accredited by the Japan Society for Neonatal Health and Development were surveyed, with 572 neonatologists at 217 facilities responding.
RESULTS: At 76% of facilities, withdrawing intensive care treatments was "never" done, while withholding intensive care had been done "sometimes" or more frequently at 82% of facilities. Japanese neonatologists differed from European neonatologists regarding their degree of affirmation of 3 out of 7 queried beliefs about end-of-life care. In hospitals that were more likely to "sometimes" (or more often) withdraw treatments, respondents were less likely to affirm beliefs about doing "everything possible" or providing the "maximum of intensive care". Self-reported ACP practices did not vary between neonatologists based on their hospital's overall pattern of withholding or withdrawing treatments.
CONCLUSION: Among NICU facilities in Japan, 21% had been sometimes withdrawing LSI and 82% had been "sometimes" withholding LSI. Institutional treatment practices may have a strong association with physicians' beliefs that then affect end-of-life discussions, but not with self-reported ACP practices.
BACKGROUND: Advance care planning (ACP) is not well implemented in hospital. Implementation theory stresses the importance of knowing what hospitalised palliative patients and their families experience as barriers or as facilitators in the uptake of ACP with their treating physician.
AIMS: This study aimed to gain an in-depth understanding of what hospitalised palliative patients and their families experienced as barriers or facilitators for having ACP conversations.
METHODS: We used a tape-assisted recall procedure to conduct 29 videotaped interviews with hospitalised patients and their families. We used content analysis based on grounded theory principles.
RESULTS: Four major fields of tension were discovered: not knowing what to expect from the treating physician; not being sure the treating physician can be a trusted partner; daring to speak about ACP; and staying loyal to one's own wishes.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients and families need physicians who are accessible and can be trusted ACP partners throughout the disease process.
BACKGROUND: Social isolation is a risk factor for poor health that influences the well-being older adults.
OBJECTIVE: We compare advance care planning (ACP) engagement of older adults who were severely socially isolated, socially isolated, and not socially isolated.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of the 2012 National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS).
SETTING: United States of America.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2015 older adults (aged =65 years) randomly selected from a representative sample of community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries to participate in an ACP module as part of an annual in-person interview.
MEASUREMENTS: We classified participants in three groups: severely socially isolated, socially isolated, or not socially isolated. ACP refers to three (yes/no) questions regarding whether a participant had a: (1) prior discussion about care preferences in the case of serious illness (EOL Discussion); (2) durable power of attorney (DPOA); and (3) advance directive (AD). We performed logistic regression analyses to examine the association between social isolation and ACP.
RESULTS: Approximately 23% of older adults were either severely socially isolated or socially isolated. Older adults who experienced social isolation were less likely to engage in ACP than those who were not socially isolated. In adjusted analysis, older adults who were socially isolated had lower odds of having an EOL discussion (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.49-0.87) or having a DPOA (AOR = 0.71; 95% CI = 0.53-0.96) compared to those who were not socially isolated.
CONCLUSION: Social isolation is associated with lower engagement in ACP. Clinicians should identify older adults who are at risk for or experience social isolation as they may benefit from targeted ACP efforts.
CONTEXT: Advances in medicine have seen changes in mortality in Western countries. Simultaneously, countries such as Australia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Germany have encouraged consumer-directed care and Advance Care Plan (ACP) completion, giving patients a voice despite incapacity. Adhering to ACPs relies on the decision-making of treating doctors, making hospital doctors key partners, and their perspectives on ACP adherence critical.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this review was to explore and map existing research on factors associated with hospital doctors adhering to adult patients' ACPs.
METHODS: A scoping review of English language publications within CINAHL, Emcare, Medline, PsycInfo and Scopus was conducted, following PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) guidelines. ACPs were defined as adult patient-generated, written health care directions or values statements. Studies of any design, which reported original research associated with hospital doctors adhering to ACPs were included.
RESULTS: Twenty-seven publications were included in the final analysis. Results suggested ACPs were thought potentially useful, however, adherence has been associated with doctors': attributes (e.g. specialty, seniority), attitudes towards ACP (e.g. applicability), and legal knowledge.
CONCLUSION: Current literature suggests doctors' hold largely positive attitudes towards ACPs that provide useful patient information that enables doctors to make appropriate treatment decisions. Doctors often perceive limitations to ACP applicability due to legal requirements or ambiguity of patient outcome goals.
To describe the knowledge and attitude of Chinese patients with advanced cancer towards advanced care planning (ACP), a convenience sample of 275 patients with advanced cancer was recruited from a tertiary cancer hospital in Beijing, China, between February and December 2017. The multi-item questionnaire focused on patients’ demographics, disease characteristics and knowledge about and attitude towards ACP and was administered to eligible patients. Descriptive statistics were performed. Most patients had never heard about ACP (82.2%) and had never talked about ACP (83.0%), but only a few (18.3%) were not willing to talk about ACP. A total of 67.8% patients chose to refuse resuscitation attempts or life-sustaining medical interventions, and 70.8% of patients hoped to have surrogate decision makers when they became unconscious. By binary logistic regression analysis, patients who were of greater age, female and living in urban areas preferred to refuse resuscitation attempts or life-sustaining medical interventions (OR = 1.023, P = 0.042; OR = 2.011, P = 0.020; OR = 0.254, P < 0.01); patients who had very rich or rich family economic status preferred to involve surrogate decision makers compared with patients of very poor family economic status (OR = 0.250, P = 0.011). There is a large gap between the knowledge about ACP and the expectation of implementing ACP in Chinese patients with advanced cancer. To develop culturally appropriate and individualized programmes to promote knowledge and implementation in practice of ACP among Chinese patients with advanced cancer and their relatives is still a significant challenge.
INTRODUCTION: Patients with multimorbidity plus additional impairments (eg, mobility limitations, disability, cognitive impairments or frailty) are at the highest risk for poor healthcare outcomes. Advanced care planning (ACP) provides patients and their surrogates the opportunity to discuss their goals, values and priorities for healthcare-particularly in the context of end-of-life care. ACP discussions promote more person-centred care; however, it is currently underused. There is a tremendous need for systematic, scalable approaches to individualised ACP that promotes patient and family engagement. Here we describe the study protocol for a randomised effectiveness trial of a nurse navigator and informatics intervention designed to improve the documentation and quality of ACP discussions.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a randomised, pragmatic, effectiveness trial; patients aged 65 years and older who have multimorbidity plus impairments in either physical function (eg, mobility limitations or disability) or cognition, and/or frailty within an affiliated Accountable Care Organization were eligible. The electronic health record was used to develop an automatic prescreening system for eligible patients (n=765) and participants were randomised in a 1:1 ratio to either the nurse navigator-led ACP pathway or usual care. Our primary outcomes are documentation of ACP discussions within the EHR along with the quality of ACP discussions. Secondary outcomes include a broad range of ACP actions (eg, usage of ACP billing codes, choosing a surrogate decision-maker and advance directive documentation). Outcomes will be measured over 12 months of follow-up.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been approved by the appropriate Institutional Review Boards and is guided by input from patient and clinical advisory boards. The results of this study will inform a scalable solution to ACP discussions throughout our healthcare system and statewide.
CONTEXT: Individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) typically experience a gradual worsening of the illness in the years prior to death. Due to difficulties in predicting the disease trajectory or the timing of acute exacerbations, advance care planning (ACP) may be of particular importance for individuals with COPD.
OBJECTIVES: To review and summarise the available literature on current practices around ACP in COPD.
METHODS: A scoping review of the literature was conducted following the Arksey and O'Malley framework . Original research studies of any design were included.
RESULTS: Twenty-eight studies were included. Across studies, there was agreement that ACP should be incorporated into routine COPD management. There was evidence that this does not occur in everyday practice, with conversations tending to focus on day-to-day symptom management. Barriers included prognosis uncertainty, insufficient time and training, and a lack of protocols for who is responsible for initiating ACP. Facilitators included the use of transition points for identifying the appropriate time to initiate ACP, and an increased focus on ACP in professional education. The occurrence of repeated episodes of acute care was identified as a key transition point for identifying the palliative stage of COPD and an appropriate time to initiate ACP.
CONCLUSION: The findings of this review confirm agreement among healthcare professionals and patients with COPD and their carers that ACP should be incorporated into routine COPD management. The use of transition points may help healthcare professionals overcome the barrier of prognosis uncertainty, and identify patients that might benefit from ACP.
BACKGROUND: Using advance care planning (ACP) to anticipate future decisions can increase compliance with people's end-of-life wishes, decrease inappropriate life-sustaining treatment and reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Despite this, only a minority of older people engage in ACP, partly because care professionals lack knowledge of approaches towards ACP with older people and their families.
OBJECTIVE: To explore older people's and their families' experiences with ACP in primary care.
METHODS: We conducted qualitative, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with 22 older people (aged >70 years, v/m: 11/11), with experience in ACP, and eight of their family members (aged 40-79 years, f/m: 7/1). Transcripts were inductively analysed using a grounded theory approach.
RESULTS: We distinguished three main themes. (i) Openness and trust: Respondents were more open to ACP if they wanted to prevent specific future situations and less open if they lacked trust or had negative thoughts regarding general practitioners' (GPs') time for and interest in ACP. Engaging in ACP appeared to increase trust. (ii) Timing and topics: ACP was not initiated too early. Quality of ACP seemed to improve if respondents' views on their current life and future, a few specific future care scenarios and expectations and responsibilities regarding ACP were discussed. (iii) Roles of family: Quality of ACP appeared to improve if family was involved in ACP.
CONCLUSIONS: Quality and accessibility of ACP may improve if GPs and nurses involve family, explain GPs' interest in ACP and discuss future situations older people may want to prevent, and views on their current life and future.
Background: The significance of advance care planning in dementia is widely acknowledged. Despite the suggestion that younger people with dementia and their family might have distinct needs and preferences in this area, studies on advance care planning in young-onset dementia are absent.
Aim: We aim to explore (1) whether family caregivers had already engaged in advance care planning with patients and/ or professionals and the accompanying reasons and (2) family caregivers' preferences for how to ideally engage in the process with patients, family and professionals.
Design: A qualitative study was conducted: we analysed semi-structured interviews (n = 15) through the method of constant comparative analysis.
Setting/participants: We included Flemish family caregivers of persons with young-onset dementia.
Results: Plans for the future typically concerned non-medical affairs. Participants' limited engagement in advance care planning was clarified through several reasons: not considering it useful, hindering patient behaviour, adopting a day-to-day attitude, caregivers emotionally protecting themselves and uncertainty about patients' cognitive competence. However, endorsement for advance care planning showed from respondent' preferences that it should be initiated timely, by a third party, and emphasize patients' remaining capacities. Finally, the need for information and high-quality care emerged.
onclusion: A gap of knowledge, of information and in care intertwiningly hinder advance care planning. In young-onset dementia, engaging in advance care planning is not an option equally accessible as not doing so. Policy makers, institutions and professionals could reflect on their responsibility in providing these patients and caregivers an actual choice to engage in advance care planning or not.
Context: Programs identifying patients needing palliative care and promoting advance care planning (ACP) are rare in Asia.
Objectives: This interventional cohort study aimed to identify hospitalized patients with palliative care needs using a validated Palliative Care Screening Tool (PCST), examine the ability of the PCST to predict mortality, and explore effects of a pragmatic ACP program targeted by PCST on the utilisation of life-sustaining treatment during the last three months of life.
Methods: In this prospective study, we used PCST to evaluate patients’ palliative care needs between 2015 and 2016 and followed patients for 3 months. ACP with advance directives (AD) were systematically offered to all patients with PCST score =4.
Results: Of 47,153 hospitalized patients, 10.4% had PCST score =4. During follow-up, 2,121 individuals died within three months of palliative care screening: 1,225 (25.0%) with PCST score =4 and 896 (2.1%) with PCST score <4. After controlling for co-variates, PCST score =4 was significantly associated with a higher mortality within 3 months of screening (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 6.86; 95% confident interval [CI], 6.16-7.63). Moreover, ACP consultation (AOR=0.78, 95%CI: (0.66-0.92) and AD completion (AOR=0.49, 95%CI: 0.36-0.65) were associated with a lower likelihood of receiving life-sustaining treatments during the last 3 months of life.
Conclusions: We demonstrated the feasibility of implementing a comprehensive palliative care program to identify patients with palliative care needs and promote ACP and AD in East Asia. ACP consultation and AD completion were associated with reduced utilization of life-sustaining treatments during the last 3 months of life.