Advance care planning engagement in patients with chronic, life-limiting illness: baseline findings from a cluster-randomised controlled trial in primary care

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Advance care planning (ACP) has been characterised as a complex process of communication and decision making. For ACP behaviour change, underlying processes such as self-efficacy and readiness are needed. However, studies about which patient characteristics are associated with ACP have mainly focused on whether ACP actions are completed, leaving behaviour change processes unexplored.

AIM: To assess whether patients' characteristics and patient-perceived quality of GP ACP communication were associated with patients' ACP engagement.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Baseline data were used from the ACP-GP cluster-randomised controlled trial in patients with chronic, life-limiting illness (n = 95).

METHOD: Patients completed questionnaires detailing demographic and clinical characteristics, and their perception about their GPs' ACP information provision and listening. Engagement was measured using the 15-item ACP Engagement Survey, with self-efficacy and readiness subscales. Linear mixed models tested associations with engagement.

RESULTS: Demographic and clinical characteristics were not associated with engagement; nor was how much ACP information patients received from their GP or the extent to which the GP listened to what was important for the patient to live well or important to the patient regarding future care. Higher overall ACP engagement (P = 0.002) and self-efficacy (P<0.001) were observed in patients who gave a high rating for the extent to which their GP listened to their worries regarding future health.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that GPs providing information about ACP alone is not associated with a patient's ACP engagement; an important element is to listen to patients' worries regarding their future health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e384-e391
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Volume73
Issue number730
Early online date17 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Keywords

  • advance care planning
  • baseline survey
  • chronic disease
  • general practice
  • patient participation
  • surveys and questionnaires

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