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Technology and health care for the elderly medical research studies

Focus on strategic priorities that have significant social impact.

KS 2014-06

Systematic scoping review and meta analysis of end-of-life decision making tools and strategies

This project was a systematic review of the evidence about the effectiveness of tools and strategies for advanced care planning (ACP) and end-of-life (EOL) decision-making.

Research Results

Publications, presentations and webinars

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

Policy        Families        Researchers

About the Project

With the advances in medical care over past decades, EOL decision-making has become an integral part of quality health care, as a way to ensure that treatment at the EOL is aligned with patients’ values and preferences. Given that patients at the end of life may not be able to state their treatment preferences due to either acute or chronic illness, and because many substitute-decision makers (SDMs) are unable to accurately predict patients’ wishes at the end of life, ACP has been used to elicit and record EOL preferences. However, it is still uncertain what tools, strategies or interventions to facilitate EOL decisions are most effective and acceptable to patients and their SDMs.

We conducted a systematic review of the efficacy of these tools by assessing the impact of published ACP or EOL decision-making tools or strategies on outcomes such as creation of advance care plans and documentation of goals of care or resuscitation status.

Project Team

Principal Investigator:

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

Knowledge Users and Partners:

Louise Hanvey -- Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA)

Project Contact: John You --

KS 2014-06

Key words: advance care planning; advance directive; end-of-life; communication tool; palliative care