General practitioners' perceptions on feasibility and acceptability of implementing a risk prediction checklist to support end-of-life discussions in routine care: a qualitative study

Ebony T. Lewis, Abela Mahimbo, Christine Linhart, Margaret Williamson, Mark Morgan, Kathrine Hammill, John Hall, Magnolia Cardona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

General practitioners' (GPs) play a central role in facilitating end-of-life discussions with older patients nearing the end-of-life. However, prognostic uncertainty of time to death is one important barrier to initiation of these discussions.

OBJECTIVE:
To explore GPs' perceptions of the feasibility and acceptability of a risk prediction checklist to identify older patients in their last 12 months of life and describe perceived barriers and facilitators for implementing end-of-life planning.

METHODS:
Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 GPs practising in metropolitan locations in New South Wales and Queensland between May and June 2019. Data were analysed thematically.

RESULTS:
Eight themes emerged: accessibility and implementation of the checklist, uncertainty around checklist's accuracy and usefulness, time of the checklist, checklist as a potential prompt for end-of-life conversations, end-of-life conversations not an easy topic, end-of-life conversation requires time and effort, uncertainty in identifying end-of-life patients and limited community literacy on end-of-life. Most participants welcomed a risk prediction checklist in routine practice if assured of its accuracy in identifying which patients were nearing end-of-life.

CONCLUSIONS:
Most participating GPs saw the value in risk assessment and end-of-life planning. Many emphasized the need for appropriate support, tools and funding for prognostic screening and end-of-life planning for this to become routine in general practice. Well validated risk prediction tools are needed to increase clinician confidence in identifying risk of death to support end-of-life care planning.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbercmaa036
Number of pages8
JournalFamily Practice
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2020

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