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Room for improvement: An examination of advance care planning documentation among gynecologic oncology patients.

Room for improvement: An examination of advance care planning documentation among gynecologic oncology patients.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBrown AJ, Shen MJohnson, Urbauer D, Taylor J, Parker PA, Carmack C, Prescott L, Kolawole E, Rosemore C, Sun C, Ramondetta L, Bodurka DC
JournalGynecol Oncol
Volume142
Issue3
Pagination525-30
Date Published2016 Sep
ISSN1095-6859
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The goals of this study were: (1) to evaluate patients' knowledge regarding advance directives and completion rates of advance directives among gynecologic oncology patients and (2) to examine the association between death anxiety, disease symptom burden, and patient initiation of advance directives.

METHODS: 110 gynecologic cancer patients were surveyed regarding their knowledge and completion of advance directives. Patients also completed the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI) scale and Templer's Death Anxiety Scale (DAS). Descriptive statistics were utilized to examine characteristics of the sample. Fisher's exact tests and 2-sample t-tests were utilized to examine associations between key variables.

RESULTS: Most patients were white (76.4%) and had ovarian (46.4%) or uterine cancer (34.6%). Nearly half (47.0%) had recurrent disease. The majority of patients had heard about advance directives (75%). Only 49% had completed a living will or medical power of attorney. Older patients and those with a higher level of education were more likely to have completed an advance directive (p<0.01). Higher MDASI Interference Score (higher symptom burden) was associated with patients being less likely to have a living will or medical power of attorney (p=0.003). Higher DAS score (increased death anxiety) was associated with patients being less likely to have completed a living will or medical power of attorney (p=0.03).

CONCLUSION: Most patients were familiar with advance directives, but less than half had created these documents. Young age, lower level of education, disease-related interference with daily activities, and a higher level of death anxiety were associated with decreased rates of advance directive completion, indicating these may be barriers to advance care planning documentation. Young patients, less educated patients, patients with increased disease symptom burden, and patients with increased death anxiety should be targeted for advance care planning discussions as they may be less likely to engage in advance care planning.

DOI10.1016/j.ygyno.2016.07.010
Alternate JournalGynecol. Oncol.
PubMed ID27439968

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