How Do Patients with Life-Limiting Illness and Caregivers Want End-Of-Life Prognostic Information Delivered? A Pilot Study

Ebony T. Lewis, Kathrine Hammill, Maree Ticehurst, Robin Turner, Sally Greenaway, Ken Hillman, Joan Carlini, Magnolia Cardona

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Abstract

We aimed to identify the level of prognostic disclosure, type of prognostic information and delivery format of prognostic communication that older adults diagnosed with a life-limiting illness or caregivers prefer to receive. We developed and pilot tested an open-ended survey to 15 older patients and caregivers who had experience in health services for life-limiting illness either for a relative, friend or themselves. Five hypothetical clinical scenarios of prognostic options were presented to ascertain preferences. The preferred format to receive prognostic information was verbal delivery by the clinician with a written summary. Photos and videos were less favoured, and a table with numbers/percentages was least preferred. Distress levels to the prognostic scenarios were low, with the exception of a photo. We conclude that older patients/caregivers want end-of-life prognostic information delivered the traditional way, verbally by clinicians. Options to deliver prognostic information may vary across patient groups but empower clinicians in introducing end-of-life discussions with patients/caregivers. Our study illustrates the feasibility of involving terminal patients and caregivers in research that contributes to eliciting prognostic preferences. Further research is needed to understand whether the prognostic preferences of hospitalized patients with life-limiting illness differ.
Original languageEnglish
Article number784
JournalHealthcare
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2021

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