Advance Care Planning: Providing Direction for Patients and Providers
Many older Americans don’t have an advance directive (AD). ADs are legal documents that allow a person to express what types of medical treatment or cares that they want at the end of their life if they were unable to speak for themselves. Patients without an AD could receive unwanted treatment. Providers can utilize advance care planning (ACP) to educate patients and support them in forming a medical power of attorney (MPOA) and AD. Evidence suggests that having ACP conversations can engage a patient to form an AD. The purpose of this project was to see if ACP discussions with older patients encouraged them to complete an AD and MPOA.
The project used a mixed method design. Participants were recruited from a primary care practice. Descriptive statistics described the sample and outcome variable. An independent t- test measured if there were significant changes in the participant responses for the ACP survey.
The average age (standard deviation) of the chart review sample was 72.22 (SD=9.47). The ages ranged from 60 to 100 years of age. Most of the sample in the chart audit were female with 105 (53%) participants and 95 (48%) were male. Most of the sample, 183 (92.5%) reported having a chronic health condition and 17 (7.5%) of the sample reported having no chronic condition. Overall, the results were inclined towards a significant difference in participants who did the ACP discussions and those who did not when comparing completed AD forms.