Background: Incorporating patient narratives into the electronic health record (EHR) is an opportunity to integrate patients' values and beliefs into their care and improve patient–clinician communication.
Objective: The study's aims were to (1) identify barriers and facilitators influencing the implementation of a cocreated patient narrative intervention and (2) assess the acceptability/usability of the patient's narrative from the perspective of key stakeholders—the patient and acute care bedside nurse.
Design: We used an implementation design using mixed methods.
Setting/Subjects: Twenty patients and 18 nurses were enrolled from five units in an acute care hospital.
Results: For patients, the narrative intervention provided an avenue to discuss and share how illness has impacted their life in psychological, social, and spiritual belief domains. For nurses, the ability to read the patient's narrative provided benefits that fostered improved communication and more connection with their patients. Despite successfully meeting recruitment targets, time was the largest barrier for patient and nurse participants. Overall, the nurse participants gave high ratings on most of the items on the System Usability Scale with one exception—EHR integration. The lack of EHR integration on the System Usability Survey corresponds with the nurses' stated desire for a prominent location of patient narratives in the EHR.
Conclusions: The patient narrative intervention was acceptable and usable for hospitalized patients and nurse participants. Our study demonstrates that a cocreated patient narrative intervention provides avenues for patients and nurses to connect despite being in hectic acute care settings.
BACKGROUND: Communication about the end of life is especially important in the family context, as patients and their families are considered as the care unit in palliative care. Open end-of-life communication can positively affect medical, psychological and relational outcomes during the dying process for patient and family. Regardless of the benefits of end-of-life conversations, many patients and their family caregivers speak little about relevant end-of-life issues.
AIM: To identify barriers that hinder or influence the discussion of end-of-life issues in the family context.
DESIGN: A systematic mixed-method review according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines.
DATA SOURCES: A systematic search of PsycInfo, CINAHL, PubMed and Web of Science was conducted and extended with a hand search. Peer-reviewed primary studies reporting on the barriers to or difficulties in end-of-life conversations experienced by terminally ill patients and/or family caregivers were included in this review.
RESULTS: 18 qualitative and two quantitative studies met the inclusion criteria. The experiences of n=205 patients and n=738 family caregivers were analysed qualitatively; n=293 patients and n=236 caregivers were surveyed in the questionnaire studies. Five overarching categories emerged from the extracted data: emotional, cognitive, communicative, relational and external processes can hinder end-of-life communication within the family. The most frequently reported barriers are emotional and cognitive processes such as protective buffering or belief in positive thinking.
CONCLUSIONS: Research on end-of-life communication barriers in the family context is scarce. Further research should enhance the development of appropriate assessment tools and interventions to support families with the challenges experienced regarding end-of-life conversations.
L’épidémie de Covid-19 qui avait débuté en novembre en Chine est devenue une épidémie en France à partir du 16 mars 2020 avec la déclaration du confinement de la population afin de diminuer la propagation du virus. Dès le 17 mars et jusqu’au 27 mars 2020, la cellule de veille de la Société française de gériatrie et gérontologie décide de mener une enquête pour analyser la mise en place de la mobilisation des structures de gériatrie, étant donné que cette épidémie avait montré qu’elle entraînait une surmortalité majoritairement chez les personnes âgées. L’enquête a pu réunir la réponse de 34 structures, dont neuf étaient situées en zone cluster de forte épidémie. Des services de court séjour gériatriques
dédiés pour les patients infectés par le Covid-19 étaient présents dans huit établissements, uniquement hors des zones clusters. Neuf soins de suite et de rééducation gériatriques ont été dédiés, une activité supplémentaire de télémédecine concernait 35 % des établissements, et des moyens d’écoute des familles, d’animation et de communication par tablettes concernaient 36% des établissements. Cette enquête est une photographie d’un moment initial de l’épidémie. Elle donne l’occasion de décrire le contexte dans lequel cette épidémie est survenue en ce qui concerne la politique gériatrique, et d’apprécier la réactivité et l’inventivité de ces services pour répondre aux besoins des personnes âgées.
Background: Traumatic events are sudden, unexpected, and often devastating. The delivery of difficult news to patients and families in the trauma setting has unique challenges that necessitate communication skills that may differ from those used in other clinical environments.
Objective: Design and implement a novel curriculum to teach, assess, and provide feedback to trauma residents on the communication skills necessary for delivering difficult news to patients and families in the trauma setting.
Methods: This communication curriculum was delivered in three separate phases: (1) didactics using a video education e-module, (2) simulated practice of trauma resuscitation with a high-fidelity mannequin followed by role play of delivering difficult news, (3) an observed skills assessment using standardized patients (SPs). Each phase focused on delivery of difficult news of death and of uncertain/poor prognosis after a resuscitation in the trauma bay. Learners were trauma residents that included postgraduate year (PGY) 1-2 general surgery residents and PGY 1-4 emergency medicine residents at a level 1 trauma center. Outcomes include resident comfort, knowledge, and confidence in delivering difficult news in the trauma setting.
Results: Thirty-nine trauma residents participated in the three-phase curriculum. There was an increase in the mean scores of resident-reported comfort, knowledge, and confidence in delivering difficult news for the seriously injured. SPs rated 78% of residents as competent to perform delivery of difficult news in the trauma bay independently.
Conclusions: A curriculum to teach and assess trauma residents in the skills necessary to deliver difficult news in the trauma setting is both feasible and effective.
BACKGROUND: Preparation for an impending death through EOL (end-of-life) discussions and human presence when a person is dying is important for both patients and families.
OBJECTIVE: The aim was to study whether EOL discussions were offered and to what degree patients were alone at time of death when dying from Covid-19, comparing deaths in nursing homes and hospitals.
DESIGN: The national Swedish Register of Palliative Care (SRPC) was used. All expected deaths from Covid-19 in nursing homes and hospitals were compared with, and contrasted to, deaths in a reference population (deaths in 2019).
SETTING AND SUBJECTS: A total of 1346 expected Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes (n=908) and hospitals (n=438) were analyzed.
RESULTS: Those who died were of a more advanced age in nursing homes (mean 86.4 years) and of a lower age in hospitals (mean 80.7 years) (p<0.0001). Fewer EOL discussions with patients were held compared with deaths in 2019 (74% vs. 79%, p<0.001) and dying with someone present was much more uncommon (59% vs. 83%, p<0.0001). In comparisons between nursing homes and hospital deaths, more patients dying in nursing homes were women (56% vs. 37%, p<0.0001) and significantly fewer had a retained ability to express their will during the last week of life (54% vs. 89%, p<0.0001). Relatives were present at time of death in only 13% and 24% of the cases in nursing homes and hospitals, respectively (p<0.001). The corresponding figures for staff were 52% and 38% (p<0.0001).
CONCLUSION: Dying from Covid-19 negatively affects the possibility of holding an EOL discussion and the chances of dying with someone present. This has considerable social and existential consequences for both patients and families.
BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is associated with an uncertain trajectory, which challenges prognostication and means that most patients are not involved in advance care planning and do not receive palliative and end-of-life care.
AIM: To understand the preferences of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for discussions about palliative and advance care planning with clinicians.
DESIGN: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Data analysis was guided by principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis, of which symbolic interactionism and interpretation principles were employed throughout.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: A total of 33 British patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at different stages of their disease trajectory were recruited.
RESULTS: Patients preferred to discuss palliative care with clinicians they perceived had greater levels of competency and authority in care and with whom they had an established relationship, usually a specialist. Patients favoured large amounts of information about treatments and care, but reported a lack of illness-related information and problems accessing appointments with clinicians. Consequently, patients deferred discussions to the future, usually once their condition had deteriorated significantly or planned to wait for clinicians to initiate conversations. This was not rooted in patient preferences, but related to clinicians' lack of time, absence of an established relationship and belief that appointments were for managing current symptoms, exacerbations and disease factors rather than future care and preferences.
CONCLUSION: Different perceptions, competing priorities and service rationing inhibit patients from initiating early discussions with clinicians, so palliative care conversations should be initiated by respiratory-expert clinicians who know the patient well. After a sudden deterioration in the patient's condition may be a suitable time.
Background: High-fidelity simulation is being considered as a suitable environment for imparting the skills needed to deal with end-of-life (EOL) situations. The objective was to evaluate an EOL simulation project that introduced communication skills to nursing students who had not yet begun their training in real healthcare environments.
Methods: A sequential approach was used. The "questionnaire for the evaluation of the end-of-life project" was employed.
Results: A total of 130 students participated. Increasing the time spent in high-fidelity simulation significantly favored the exploration of feelings and fears regarding EOL (t = -2.37, p = 0.019), encouraged dialogue (t = -2.23, p = 0.028) and increased the acquisition of communication skills (t = -2.32, p = 0.022).
Conclusions: High-fidelity simulation promotes communication skills related to EOL in novice nursing students.
CONTEXT: Advance care planning is essential to enable informed medical decisions to be made and to reduce aggressiveness in EOL care.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore whether a Question Prompt List (QPL) adapted to French language and culture could promote discussions, particularly on prognosis and EOL issues, among advanced cancer patients attending outpatient palliative care (PC) consultations.
METHODS: In this multicentre randomised study, patients assigned to the intervention arm received a QPL to help them prepare for the next consultation one month later. The main inclusion criteria were advanced cancer patients referred to the PC team with an estimated life expectancy of less than one year. The primary endpoint was the number of questions raised, globally and by topic. The secondary objectives were the impact of the QPL on psychological symptoms, quality-of-life (QoL), satisfaction with care and coping styles at two months.
RESULTS: Patients (n=71) in the QPL arm asked more questions (mean 21.8 versus 18.2, p-value=0.03) than patients in the control arm (n=71), particularly on PC (5.6 versus 3.7, p-value=0.012) and EOL issues (2.2 versus 1, p=0.018), but not on prognosis (4.3 versus 3.6, NS). At two months, there was no change in anxiety, depression or QoL in either arm; patient satisfaction with doctors' technical skills was scored higher (p-value=0.024) and avoidance coping responses were less frequent (self-distraction, p-value=0.015; behavioural disengagement, p-value=0.025) in the QPL arm.
CONCLUSIONS: Questions on PC and EOL issues in outpatient palliative care consultations were more frequent and patient satisfaction was better when a QPL was made available prior to the consultation.
BACKGROUND: Group visits can support health behavior change and self-efficacy. In primary care, an advance care planning (ACP) group visit may leverage group dynamics and peer mentorship to facilitate education and personal goal setting that result in ACP engagement.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the ENgaging in Advance Care Planning Talks (ENACT) group visits intervention improves ACP documentation and readiness in older adults.
METHODS: This randomized clinical trial was conducted among geriatric primary care patients from the University of Colorado Hospital Seniors Clinic, Aurora, CO, from August 2017 to November 2019. Participants randomized to ENACT group visits (n = 55) participated in two 2-hour sessions with discussions of ACP topics and use of ACP tools (i.e., Conversation Starter Kit, Medical Durable Power of Attorney form, and PREPARE videos). Participants randomized to the control arm (n = 55) received the Conversation Starter Kit and a Medical Durable Power of Attorney form by mail. The primary outcomes included presence of ACP documents or medical decision-maker documentation in the electronic health record (EHR) at 6 months, and a secondary outcome was ACP readiness (validated four-item ACP Engagement Survey) at 6 months.
RESULTS: Participants were a mean of 77 years old, 60% female, and 79% white. At 6 months, 71% of ENACT participants had an advance directive in the EHR (26% higher) compared with 45% of control arm participants (P < .001). Similarly, 93% of ENACT participants had decision-maker documentation in the EHR (29% higher) compared with 73% in the control arm (P < .001). ENACT participants trended toward higher readiness to engage in ACP compared with control (4.56 vs 4.13; P = .16) at 6 months.
CONCLUSION: An ACP group visit increased ACP documentation and readiness to engage in ACP behavior change. Primary care teams can explore implementation and adaptation of ACP group visits into routine care, as well as longer-term impact on patient health outcomes.
BACKGROUND: End-of-life discussions are associated with improved quality of care for patients. In the UK, the General Medical Council outlines a requirement for medical graduates to involve patients and their families in discussions on their care at the end-of-life. However medical students feel ill-equipped to conduct these discussions.
METHODS: In 2018, Sheffield Medical School introduced a small group role-play session on end-of-life discussions for all final year medical students. Scenarios were devised to improve confidence in the following learning domains: communicating prognosis with patients and family; ascertaining patient's goals, values and preferred place of death; discussing escalation of treatment, discussing do not attempt resuscitation orders, care in the dying phase of illness and pre-emptive prescribing. Evaluation was conducted over 16 weeks with a before and after questionnaire. Students rated their confidence in the above learning domains on a Likert-style scale and explained their ratings in free-text boxes.
RESULTS: There was a 76% response rate to the questionnaire and analysis showed statistically significant improvements in confidence across all learning domains following the session. Qualitative analysis of free-text responses showed that prior to the sessions, students expressed low confidence due to lack of experience and fear of upsetting patients. After the session students felt they had gained skills but expressed persistent anxiety and a desire for further practice.
CONCLUSIONS: Our innovation suggests that the opportunity to experience end-of-life discussions through role-play can significantly improve students' confidence in conducting these conversations. However, repeated sessions are likely necessary for students to feel prepared upon graduation.
BACKGROUND: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-limiting disease that results in premature death mainly due to respiratory failure. Literature suggests that for many people with CF end-of-life wishes are discussed too late or not at all, with most dying in hospital. The aim of this project was to improve end-of-life care for adults with CF.
DESIGN: Three improvement cycles were carried out over a 2-year period in one of the largest adult CF centres in Europe. The first cycle involved implementing regular multidisciplinary team (MDT) debriefs after a patient death with increased education. The second cycle involved codesigning a CF-specific advance care plan (ACP) with patients, families, bereaved relatives and experts across the UK, then implementing this into our service. The final cycle was designing a CF-specific end of life, online course for clinicians. Success was measured by: use of ACP and whether patients had died in their preferred location, patient feedback via a survey and satisfaction with the online course using a postcourse report.
RESULTS: The number of patients given the opportunity to discuss their end of life wishes increased from 10% to 85%. The number of patients who died in their preferred location increased from 7% to 85% over the 2-year project time. Patient feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The key barrier has been changing MDT culture, overcoming this required the engagement of the whole team. The online course has been successful with 258 participants to date from 26 countries.
CONCLUSION: Education, staff support and a CF-specific ACP document empowered healthcare professionals to initiate difficult conversations to improve end-of-life care.
BACKGROUND: A large number of the hospice patients have been reported to be with symptoms of pain. Thus, managing the patient's pain is one aspect of hospice care provision. The delivery of pain care services could be facilitated through effective communication. However, little has been done to explore the interactional details of the delivery of pain care services in palliative care.
METHODS: Conversation analysis is a useful method to explore the interactional details of interaction by hospice care providers and terminally ill patients. Using the method of Conversation Analysis (CA), this study aims to demonstrate how the hospice care provider employs different types of interactional practices to address the patient's pain concerns. The data showed in this study are collected from the Alexander St website http://ctiv.alexanderstreet.com , an educational resource presenting a large collection of psycho-therapeutic videos.
RESULTS: In this study, an illustrative analysis is demonstrated to show the potential of conversation analysis for research on pain talk in palliative care. It has been shown that conversation analysis could contribute to unfolding the interactional details regarding "pain talk" in hospice care settings. Specifically, conversation analysis could provide a detailed description and interpretation of the conversational practices, which are used to construct hospice care provider participation in delivering pain talk. In addition, conversation analysis could also demonstrate the interactional resources by which patients disclose their experiences of physical or spiritual pain to the hospice care provider and the way how the hospice care provider responds to the patient's troubles talk or feelings talk.
CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies five types of interactional resources which are used to deal with the patient's pain concerns in hospice care setting. A conversation analytical study of pain talk in hospice care could provide a turn-by-turn description of how the hospice care provider communicates with the terminally ill patient in terms of the patient's pain concerns. The findings in this study could inform how the hospice care provider initiates, delivers and develops a pain talk with the terminally ill patient effectively.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic determined the need for extreme measures of social distancing, thus family members’ visits are not allowed for hospitalized patients and communication can take place only by phone calls or, in some cases, by the use of video calls. During this period, amongst the requests emerged from the families of our patients, we were challenged in particular by one wife of a dying patient wishing to see him one last time.
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PURPOSE: Guidelines recommend earlier advance care planning discussions focused on goals and values (serious illness communication) among oncology patients. We conducted a prospective, cross-sectional quality improvement evaluation of patients who had a serious illness conversation (SIC) with an oncology clinician using the Serious Illness Conversation Guide to understand patient perceptions of conversations using a structured guide.
METHODS: We contacted 66 oncology patients with an SIC documented in the electronic health record. Thirty-two patients (48%) responded to survey and/or structured interview questions by telephone. We used summary statistics and thematic analysis to analyze results.
RESULTS: Twenty-eight respondents (90%) reported that the SIC was worthwhile. Seventeen respondents (55%) reported that the conversation increased their understanding of their future health, and 18 (58%) reported that the conversation increased their sense of closeness with their clinician. Although the majority of respondents (28 [90%]) reported that the conversation increased (13 [42%]) or had no effect (15 [48%]) on their hopefulness, a small minority (3 [10%]) reported a decrease in hopefulness. Qualitative analysis revealed 6 themes: clinician-patient relationship, impact on well-being, memorable characteristics of the conversation, improved prognostic understanding, practical planning, and family communication.
CONCLUSION: SICs are generally acceptable to oncology patients (nonharmful to the vast majority, positive for many). Our qualitative analysis suggests a positive impact on prognostic understanding and end-of-life planning, but opportunities for improvement in the delivery of prognosis and preparing patients for SICs. Our data also identify a small cohort who responded negatively, highlighting an important area for future study.
CONTEXT: Many advanced cancer patients have unrealistic prognostic expectations.
OBJECTIVES: We tested whether offering life expectancy (LE) statistics within palliative chemotherapy (PC) education promotes realistic expectations.
METHODS: In this multicenter trial, patients with advanced colorectal and pancreatic cancers initiating first or second line PC were randomized to usual care versus a PC educational tool with optional LE information. Surveys at 2 weeks and 3 months assessed patients' review of the LE module and their reactions; at 3 months, patients estimated their LE and reported occurrence of prognosis and end-of-life (EOL) discussions. Wilcoxon tests and proportional odds models evaluated between-arm differences in LE self-estimates, and how realistic those estimates were (based on cancer type and line of treatment).
RESULTS: From 2015-2017, 92 patients were randomized to the intervention and 94 to usual care. At baseline most patients (80.9%) wanted "a lot" or "as much information as possible" about the impact of chemotherapy on LE. Among patients randomized to the intervention, 52.0% reviewed the LE module by 2 weeks and 66.7% by 3 months - of whom 88.2% reported the information was important, 31.4% reported it was upsetting, and 3.9% regretted reviewing it. Overall, patients' LE self-estimates were very optimistic; 71.4% of colorectal cancer patients estimated >5yrs; 50% pancreatic patients estimated >2yrs. The intervention had no effect on the length or realism of patients' LE self-estimates, or on the occurrence of prognostic or EOL discussions.
CONCLUSIONS: Offering LE information within a PC educational intervention had no effect on patients' prognostic expectations.
Background: The characteristics of physician communication with patients at the end of life (EOL) in East Asia have not been well studied. We investigated physicians' communications with imminently dying patients with cancer and their families in palliative care units (PCUs) in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Methods: This observational study included patients with cancer newly admitted and deceased during their first admission to 39 PCUs in three countries. We evaluated 1) the prevalence and timing of informing patients and families of patients' impending death and 2) the prevalence of communication to assure the families of the patient's comfort.
Results: We analyzed 2138 patients (Japan: 1633, South Korea: 256, Taiwan: 249). Fewer Japanese (4.8%: 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 3.8%–5.9%) and South Korean (19.6%: 95% CI, 15.2%–25.0%) patients were informed of their impending death, whereas 66.4% (95% CI, 60.2%–72.1%) of Taiwanese were informed; among all three countries, =90% of families were informed. Although most patients in all three countries and the families in South Korea and Taiwan were informed of the impending death greater than or equal to four days before death, 62.1% (95% CI, 59.6%–64.6%) of Japanese families were informed less than or equal to three days prior. Most families in all three countries received assurance that the patient would remain comfortable (could hear until death, no distress with death rattle or respiration with mandibular movement).
Conclusions: Physicians in Taiwan communicated about patient's impending death most frequently, and physicians in all three countries generally provided assurance to families that the patients would remain comfortable. Further studies should explore the reasons for these differences and the effects of such communications in East Asia.
CONTEXT: In palliative care, caregivers often lack words and competences to discuss patients' needs in the social and spiritual dimensions. The Utrecht Symptom Diary - 4 Dimensional (USD-4D) is an instrument that can be used to monitor symptoms and needs in the physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions and to optimize communication between patients and caregivers.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the content validity of the USD-4D items related to the social and spiritual dimensions from a patient's perspective, measured in terms of comprehensibility, relevance and comprehensiveness.
METHODS: An explorative qualitative study was conducted using in-depth semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. Twelve participants (male N=7, 53-87 years old) with an estimated life expectancy of < 1 year were recruited in two home care services , a general hospital and a hospice.
RESULTS: The instructions, items and response options were comprehensible for almost all participants. The meaning that was provided to the items was expressed in themes: maintaining personal identity and autonomy, resilience, letting go, perceived balance in one's life and death and afterlife. This corresponds with the intended meaning. The items were relevant at some points in time. Not all participants had needs for personal care during the interviews. Participants found the USD-4D comprehensive, no key concepts related to the social or spiritual dimensions appeared to be missing.
CONCLUSIONS: The USD-4D constitutes a content valid PROM from the patient's perspective. The items support patients' in identifying needs in the social and spiritual dimensions and in the conversation to further explore these needs.
THEORY: Empathy has a potentially complicated relationship with dealing with death and dying. Having clinical empathy can improve interactions with dying, but educational interventions aimed at fostering empathy may cause medical students to connect emotionally with dying patients and behave unprofessionally out of self-defense. Cognitively-based clinical empathy should lead to positive attitudes toward death and dying by adhering to the principles of detached concern and professionalism. Hypotheses: The main components of cognitively-based clinical empathy are negatively correlated with (1) difficulty communicating with dying patients and their relatives, and (2) avoidance of death and dying.
Method: This cross-sectional study included 372 medical students from two universities in Konya, Turkey. Data were collected via a survey consisting of three parts: socio-demographic information, the Turkish version of Jefferson Scale of Empathy-Student Version (JSE-S), and the Turkish Approach to Death and Dying Patients Attitude Scale. Independent samples t-test and one-way analysis of variance were used for comparative analysis. Bivariate and partial correlation analyses were used to assess the associations between variables.
Results: Perspective-taking and compassionate care were significantly and moderately positively correlated with difficulty communicating with the dying and their relatives. Perspective-taking and compassionate care had significant, but weak positive correlations with avoiding death and dying. There was no significant correlation between standing in the patient's shoes and either communication or avoidance.
Conclusions: Both hypotheses were rejected. The present findings raise questions regarding whether the JSE-S is an effective operationalization of cognitively-based clinical empathy. Perspective-taking and compassionate care as measured by the JSE-S may reflect a propensity to engaging emotionally that leads to negative attitudes toward death and dying in medical students. If so, reducing the negative effects of emotional engagement seems crucial for developing positive attitudes toward death and dying in medical students.
OBJECTIVES: To explore perceptions, experiences and expectations with respect to palliative care of patients with severe mental illness (SMI) and an incurable, life-limiting chronic illness.
METHODS: Face-to-face semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 patients (10 of them living in a mental healthcare institution) with severe mental and physical health issues in the Netherlands. A semistructured interview guide was used to elicit perceptions of, experiences with and expectations regarding palliative care. Data were analysed using inductive content analysis.
RESULTS: Analysis of the data revealed eight categories: perceptions on health and health issues, coping with illness and symptoms, experiences with and wishes for current healthcare, contact with relatives and coresidents, experiences with end of life of relatives and coresidents, willingness to discuss end of life and death, wishes and expectations regarding one's own end of life and practical aspects relating to matters after death. These categories were clustered into two separate themes: current situation and anticipation of end of life. Interviewees with SMI appeared not accustomed to communicate about end-of-life issues, death and dying due to their life-threatening illness. They tended to discuss only their current situation and, after further exploration of the researcher, the terminal phase of life. They seemed not engaged in their future palliative care planning.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings of this study highlight inadequacies in advance care planning for patients with SMI. Results suggest using values, current and near wishes, and needs as a starting point for establishing a gradual discussion concerning goals and preferences for future medical and mental treatment and care.