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Medline ® Abstracts for References 13-15

of 'Advance care planning and advance directives'

Association between advance directives and quality of end-of-life care: a national study.
Teno JM, Gruneir A, Schwartz Z, Nanda A, Wetle T
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007;55(2):189.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the role of advance directives (ADs) 10 years after the Patient Self-Determination Act.
DESIGN: Mortality follow-back survey.
SETTING: People who died in a nursing home, hospital, or at home.
PARTICIPANTS: Bereaved family member or other knowledgeable informant.
MEASUREMENTS: Telephone interviewers that asked about the use of written ADs, use of life-sustaining treatment, and quality of care by asking whether staff provided desired symptom relief, treated the dying with respect, supported shared decision-making, coordinated care, and provided family with the needed information and emotional support.
RESULTS: Of the 1,587 people who died, 70.8% had an AD. Persons who died athome with hospice or in a nursing home were more likely to have an AD. In addition, those with an AD were less likely to have a feeding tube (17% vs 27%) or use a respirator in the last month of life (11.8% vs 22.0%). Bereaved family members who reported that the decedent did not have an AD were more likely to report concerns with physician communication (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.1-1.6) and with being informed about what to expect (AOR=1.2, 95% CI=1.0-1.3). No statistically significant differences were observed in other outcomes. Even in those with an AD, important quality concerns remained; one in four reported an unmet need in pain, one in two reported inadequate emotional support for the patient, and one in three stated inadequate family emotional support.
CONCLUSION: Bereaved family member report of completion of an AD was associated with greater use of hospice and fewer reported concerns with communication, yet important opportunities remain to improve the quality of end-of-life care.
Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, Brown Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Joan_Teno@brown.edu
Silvester W, Blackhall LJ, Stickland E. Final Evaluation Report of the Community Implementation of the Respecting Patient Choices Program. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/nhhrc/publishing.nsf/Content/018-wilsiletal/$FILE/018%20William%20Silvester%20et%20al%20Submission%20B.pdf (Accessed on December 31, 2012).
no abstract available
Systematic implementation of an advance directive program in nursing homes: a randomized controlled trial.
Molloy DW, Guyatt GH, Russo R, Goeree R, O'Brien BJ, Bédard M, Willan A, Watson J, Patterson C, Harrison C, Standish T, Strang D, Darzins PJ, Smith S, Dubois S
JAMA. 2000;283(11):1437.
CONTEXT: Although advance directives are commonly used in the community, little is known about the effects of their systematic implementation.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the effect of systematically implementing an advance directive in nursing homes on patient and family satisfaction with involvement in decision making and on health care costs.
DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial conducted June 1, 1994, to August 31, 1998.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1292 residents in 6 Ontario nursing homes with more than 100 residents each.
INTERVENTION: The Let Me Decide advance directive program included educating staff in local hospitals and nursing homes, residents, and families about advance directives and offering competent residents or next-of-kin of mentally incompetent residents an advance directive that provided a range of health care choices for life-threatening illness, cardiac arrest, and nutrition. The 6 nursing homes were pair-matched on key characteristics, and 1 home per pair was randomized to take part in the program. Control nursing homes continued with prior policies concerning advance directives.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Residents' and families' satisfaction with health care and health care services utilization over 18 months, compared between intervention and control nursing homes.
RESULTS: Of 527 participating residents in intervention nursing homes, 49% of competent residents and 78% of families of incompetent residents completed advance directives. Satisfaction was not significantly different in intervention and control nursing homes. The mean difference (scale, 1-7) between intervention and control homes was -0.16 (95 % confidence interval [CI], -0.41 to 0.10) for competent residents and 0.07 (95% CI, -0.08 to 0.23) for families of incompetent residents. Intervention nursing homes reported fewer hospitalizations per resident (mean, 0.27 vs 0.48; P = .001) and less resource use (average total cost per patient, Can $3490 vs Can $5239; P = .01) than control nursing homes. Proportion of deaths in intervention (24%) and control (28%) nursing homes were similar (P = .20).
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that systematic implementation of a program to increase use of advance directives reduces health care services utilization without affecting satisfaction or mortality.
Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. molloy@mcmaster.ca