A mixed method feasibility study of a patient- and family-centred advance care planning intervention for cancer patients

Natasha Michael, Clare O'Callaghan, Angela Baird, Karla Gough, Meiner Krishnasamy, Nathaniel John Hiscock, Josephine Clayton

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Advance care planning (ACP) is a process whereby values and goals are sensitively explored and documented to uphold patients wishes should they become incompetent to make decisions in the future. Evidenced-based, effective approaches are needed. This study sought to assess the feasibility and acceptability of an ACP intervention informed by phase 1 findings and assessed the suitability of measures for a phase 3 trial. Methods: Prospective, longitudinal, mixed methods study with convenience sampling. A skilled facilitator conducted an ACP intervention with stage III/IV cancer patients and invited caregivers. It incorporated the vignette technique and optional completion/integration of ACP documents into electronic medical records (EMR). Quantitative and qualitative data were collected concurrently, analysed separately, and the two sets of findings converged. Results: Forty-seven percent consent rate with 30 patients and 26 caregivers completing the intervention. Ninety percent of patient participants had not or probably not written future care plans. Compliance with assessments was high and missing responses to items low. Small- to medium-sized changes were observed on a number of patients and caregiver completed measures, but confidence intervals were typically wide and most included zero. An increase in distress was reported; however, all believed the intervention should be made available. Eleven documents from nine patients were incorporated into EMR. ACP may not be furthered because of intervention inadequacies, busy lives, and reluctance to plan ahead. Conclusions: In this
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 12
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Palliative Care
Issue number1 (Art. No: 27)
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Michael, N., O'Callaghan, C., Baird, A., Gough, K., Krishnasamy, M., Hiscock, N. J., & Clayton, J. (2015). A mixed method feasibility study of a patient- and family-centred advance care planning intervention for cancer patients. BMC Palliative Care, 14(1 (Art. No: 27)), 1 - 12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-015-0023-1