Personal and Interpersonal Factors and Their Associations With Advance Care Planning Documentation: A Cross-sectional Survey of Older Adults in Australia

Marcus Sellars, Karen M. Detering, Craig Sinclair, Ben P. White, Kimberly Buck, Rasa Ruseckaite, Josephine M. Clayton, Linda Nolte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Context: Personal and interpersonal factors may be influential in a person's decision to engage in advance care planning (ACP), including completion of ACP documentation. Objectives: To conduct a cross-sectional survey of older adults accessing Australian general practices, hospitals, and residential aged care facilities, with the aim of describing associations between personal and interpersonal factors and self-reported ACP documentation completion. Methods: Eligible participants included in a national health record audit were approached to complete a survey measuring demographic and health characteristics, preferences for care, worries about the future, and experiences talking with others about ACP and completing ACP documentation. Results: Of 1082 people eligible to participate in the survey, 507 completed the survey (response rate = 47%; median age 82 years) and 54% (n = 272) reported having completed ACP documentation. Having ever discussed ACP with other people (anyone) or a doctor were both significant predictors of ACP documentation completion, whereas having previously spoken specifically to a partner about ACP, currently living with children compared to living alone, and being aged 55–69 versus 90–99 years were associated with reduced odds of ACP documentation completion. Conclusion: Approximately half the participants reported having completed ACP documentation. The strongest predictor of ACP documentation completion was having spoken to anyone about ACP followed by having spoken to a doctor about ACP. These findings suggest that discussions about ACP are an important part of the process of completing ACP documentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1222.e3
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • advance care directive
  • Advance care planning
  • health behaviors
  • surveys and questionnaires

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