Patient factors affecting the proper completion of a goals-of-care form in a general medicine hospital admission

Bradley Potenzi, Andy K.H. Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The goals-of-care (GOC) form is a resuscitation planning tool used to document informed decisions tailored for individual patients admitted to hospital. Proper and timely completion of the GOC form is essential for its effective utility. Aims: To identify patient factors which may affect the timely discussion and documentation of GOC forms in patients admitted under a general medicine unit. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of 2589 patients during 3093 admissions under the general medicine unit from January 2017 to July 2017 at Dandenong Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. The main outcome was the proper completion of GOC forms, defined as GOC completion within 48 h of admission and adequate discussion with the patient or substitute decision maker. We used logistic regression to determine the association between the main outcome and several patient-related independent variables. Results: A GOC form was completed in 66% of all admissions but only 35% were considered properly completed (timely and adequately discussed). In the general multivariable logistic regression model, the variables associated with proper completion of GOC forms were age (OR = 1.58), English as the main spoken language (OR = 1.43) and readmissions (OR = 1.27). In patients 75 years and older, additional factors associated with proper GOC completion were confusion on admission (OR = 1.31) and number of comorbidities (OR = 1.27). Conclusions: The proper GOC form completion rates were suboptimal in general medicine admissions, particularly in younger patients with fewer comorbidities. Additional effort is needed to improve GOC completion in these patients and those whose primary spoken language is not English.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1232-1239
Number of pages8
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • hospital medicine
  • inpatient
  • internal medicine
  • patient care planning
  • resuscitation

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