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Technology and health care for the elderly medical research studies

Focus on strategic priorities that have significant social impact.

CORE 2012-03

Talk to me: seriously ill patients' views on physician behaviours that influence the quality of end-of-life communication

Talk to Me was a study where patients at four hospitals in Ontario and Alberta were surveyed and interviewed to better understand the communication needs of patients engaged in advance care planning (ACP) with their physicians.

Research Results

Findings: Most physicians did not discuss advance care planning with patients, despite the patients’ desire to have these discussions. Readiness for advance care planning was a mediating factor. The content of the advance care planning discussion needs to be tailored to the patients’ willingness and readiness to discuss their advance care plan. The findings will provide key information to be included in advance care planning skill-building seminars and workshops for physicians, and will help to design other strategies to improve the quality of ACP in Canada.

Impact of findings: This study can impact the quality of care patients receive at the end of life. Physicians need to assess the patients’ readiness to discuss advance care planning. The discussion around advance care planning should be patient-centered and tailored to their readiness to discuss their advance care plan. These findings can inform policy around advance care planning during end of life care in the hospital. Healthcare providers will be more informed about their patients’ preferences for communication around advance care planning and be better equipped to care for patients as they consider their wishes for care at the end of life.

Publications, presentations and webinars

For more information on why this research matters, click the links below:

Policy        Families        Researchers

About the Project

Recent work at Canadian hospitals has found there is often poor quality of communication between seriously ill patients and their physicians about ACP.

Ultimately this study will improve the care of the seriously ill. Health care providers will now be more informed about their patients’ preferences for communication around ACP and be better equipped to care for patients as they consider their wishes for care at the end-of-life.

For more details on the project rationale and objectives/research plan, click here.

Project Team

Principal Investigators:

John You, MD, MSc, FRCPC -- McMaster University

Jessica Simon, MBChB, FRCPC -- University of Calgary


Amane Abdul-Razzak, MD -- McMaster University/University of Calgary

Kevin Brazil, PhD -- Queen's University Belfast

Diana Sherifali, PhD, BScN -- McMaster University

Project Contact: Dr. John You --

CORE 2012-03