Knowledge, attitude and practice of community-dwelling adults regarding advance care planning in Malaysia: a cross-sectional study

Mun Kit Lim, Pauline Siew Mei Lai, Pei Shan Lim, Pei Se Wong, Sajaratulnisah Othman, Fadzilah Hanum Mohd Mydin

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Objectives This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) among community-dwelling adults in Malaysia regarding advance care planning (ACP), and its associated factors. Design This cross-sectional study was conducted from July-September 2018. Setting This study was conducted at the University Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Participants We recruited community-dwelling adults (ambulatory care patients or their accompanying persons) who were ≥21 years old and able to understand English or Malay. A 1:10 systematic sampling procedure was used. Excluded were community-dwelling adults with intellectual disabilities or non-Malaysian accompanying persons. A trained researcher administered the validated English or Malay Advance Care Planning Questionnaire at baseline and 2 weeks later. Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary outcome was the KAP regarding ACP. The secondary outcomes were factors associated with KAP. Results A total of 385/393 community-dwelling adults agreed to participate (response rate 98%). Only 3.1% of the community-dwelling adults have heard about ACP and 85.7% of them felt that discussion on ACP was necessary after explanation of the term. The desire to maintain their decision-making ability when seriously ill (94.9%) and reducing family burden (91.6%) were the main motivating factors for ACP. In contrast, resorting to fate (86.5%) and perceived healthy condition (77.0%) were the main reasons against ACP. Overall, 84.4% would consider discussing ACP in the future. Community-dwelling adults who were employed were less likely to know about ACP (OR=0.167, 95% CI 0.050 to 0.559, p=0.004) whereas those with comorbidities were more likely to favour ACP (OR=2.460, 95% CI 1.161 to 5.213, p=0.019). No factor was found to be associated with the practice of ACP. Conclusions Despite the lack of awareness regarding ACP, majority of community-dwelling adults in Malaysia had a positive attitude towards ACP and were willing to engage in a discussion regarding ACP after the term € ACP' has been explained to them.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere048314
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2022


  • health policy
  • palliative care
  • primary care

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