Experiences with approaches to advance care planning with older people: a qualitative study among Dutch general practitioners.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:Advance care planning (ACP) with older people needs to be approached differently than ACP with patients with a terminal illness. ACP is still used with only a minority of older patients due to a lack of knowledge regarding appropriate approaches to ACP with older people. General practitioners (GPs) may play a key role in ACP with older people. Therefore, we explored their experiences with and views on approaches to ACP with older patients in daily practice. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:A qualitative study among a purposive sample of 19 Dutch GPs based on semistructured interviews. RESULTS:Approaches to ACP with older patients can be divided into two categories: systematic and ad hoc. Systematic approaches consisted of discussing a fixed combination of topics with community-dwelling older patients who are frail, cognitively impaired or are aged >75 years, and with older patients living in residential care homes during group information meetings, intakes, comprehensive geriatric assessments and periodic assessments. Meetings were aimed at making agreements in anticipation of future care, at providing information and encouraging older people to take further steps in ACP. With ad hoc approaches, respondents discussed only one or two topics related to the near future. Ad hoc ACP was mainly done with deteriorating patients or when patients or family initiated ACP. Systematic and ad hoc approaches were used simultaneously or sequentially and were both used for initiating and following up on ACP. Due to a lack of time and knowledge of other occasions and topics than the ones respondents used, respondents seemed to underuse many occasions and topics. CONCLUSIONS:Awareness of appropriate systematic and ad hoc approaches for ACP, and the focus on providing information and encouraging older people to take further steps in ACP reported in this study can support GPs and improve older patients' access to ACP.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Due to the disease's progressive nature, advance care planning (ACP) is recommended for people with early stage dementia. General practitioners (GPs) should initiate ACP because of their longstanding relationships with their patients and their early involvement with the disease, however ACP is seldom applied.<h4>Aim</h4>To determine the barriers and facilitators faced by GPs related to ACP with people with dementia.<h4>Data sources</h4>We systematically searched the relevant databases for papers published between January 1995 and December 2016, using the terms: primary healthcare, GP, dementia, and ACP. We conducted a systematic integrative review following Whittemore and Knafl's method. Papers containing empirical data about GP barriers and/or facilitators regarding ACP for people with dementia were included. We evaluated quality using the Mixed-Method-Appraisal-Tool and analyzed data using qualitative content analysis.<h4>Results</h4>Ten qualitative, five quantitative, and one mixed-method paper revealed four themes: timely initiation of ACP, stakeholder engagement, important aspects of ACP the conversation, and prerequisites for ACP. Important barriers were: uncertainty about the timing of ACP, how to plan for an uncertain future, lack of knowledge about dementia, difficulties assessing people with dementia's decisional capacities, and changing preferences. Facilitators for ACP were: an early start when cognitive decline is still mild, inclusion of all stakeholders, and discussing social and medical issues aimed at maintaining normal life.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Discussing future care is difficult due to uncertainties about the future and the decisional capacities of people with dementia. Based on the facilitators, we recommend that GPs use a timely and goal-oriented approach and involve all stakeholders. ACP discussions should focus on the ability of people with dementia to maintain normal daily function as well as on their quality of life, instead of end-of-life-discussions only. GPs need training to acquire knowledge and skills to timely initiate collaborative ACP discussions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Deprescribing of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can be considered in situations where the drug may no longer be necessary; however, this requires a careful discussion between patients and healthcare providers, often general practitioners (GPs). The aim of our study was to explore how GPs discuss PPI deprescribing with patients and compare that to how older patients would like to discuss this decision. METHODS:We conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with GPs (n?=?11) and patients aged ?65?years who were taking PPIs (n?=?4). Analysis of interviews was based on systematic text condensation. RESULTS:We identified four main themes: (1) Reasons PPI deprescribing comes up, (2) Considering PPI deprescribing, (3) Discussion topics, and (4) Incorporating patient preferences into PPI deprescribing decisions. We found that PPI deprescribing often comes up during consultations for other problems or due to concern about medication burden in general. GPs discussed topics related to symptom control, such as the possibility of rebound symptoms, the need to taper PPIs, and what to do if symptoms returned. This aligned with what patients felt was important to discuss. Some GPs routinely incorporated patient preferences into decisions, whereas others did not. CONCLUSION:When discussing PPI deprescribing, the GPs in our study generally focused on topics related to symptom control. There was variability in how and if patient preferences were discussed. Greater focus may be needed on developing mechanisms to elicit and incorporate patient preferences into PPI deprescribing decisions. Future research could also explore more systematic approaches to reassess ongoing PPI use in an effort to curb unnecessary long-term use of PPIs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Primary care clinics need sustainable, population-based approaches to engage patients in advance care planning (ACP). Patient portal-based ACP tools may provide an option for patient engagement. OBJECTIVE:To increase ACP outcomes by engaging older adults through portal-based ACP tools, including an electronic Medical Durable Power of Attorney (MDPOA) form. METHODS:Geriatric clinic pilot of a multi-modal population-based outreach strategy for portal-based ACP tools. Outreach was to patients (n = 105) who were 65 years and older with an active portal account, no cognitive impairment, and no MDPOA on file. Patients received a motivational message via the portal and, if not read within 2 weeks, a mailed postcard about the portal-based ACP tools. Primary outcome was composite of any ACP action at 1-year including 1) new advance directive (AD) in the electronic health record, 2) use of portal-based ACP tools, or 3) documented ACP discussion with a provider. RESULTS:Sixty-five older adults read the electronic message at 12 months. Seventeen (16%) engaged in at least 1 ACP action. Fourteen of 17 engaged by adding an AD to their record. More patients completed an AD on article or brought a previously completed AD to clinic, compared with choosing to complete an electronic MDPOA via the portal. CONCLUSIONS:Brief motivational messages about ACP via a patient portal is feasible and may increase ACP outcomes for older adults in primary care. Future studies should evaluate population-based portal outreach strategies in combination with team-based workflows to enhance patient engagement in ACP.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Frail older people are known to have low rates of advance care planning (ACP). Many frail patients prefer less aggressive treatment, but these preferences are often not known or respected. Frail patients often have multiple hospital admissions, potentially providing opportunities for ACP. OBJECTIVE:To systematically review the literature concerning ACP with frail older people in the acute hospital, with particular reference to: (1) Does ACP improve outcomes? (2) What are the views of patients, relatives and healthcare professionals regarding ACP? (3) Does ACP currently occur? (4) What are the facilitators and barriers to ACP? DESIGN:Systematic literature review and narrative synthesis. Electronic search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, ASSIA, PsycINFO and Embase databases from January 1990 to May 2019 inclusive. Studies in the acute setting of populations with a mean age >75 years, not focused on a disease-specific terminal condition were included. RESULTS:16 133 articles were retrieved, 14 met inclusion criteria. No studies used an objective measure of frailty. One randomised controlled trial (RCT) found that ACP improves outcomes for older patients. Although 74%-84% of capacitous older inpatients are receptive to ACP, rates of ACP are 0%-5%; the reasons for this discrepancy have been little studied. The nature of ACP in clinical practice is unknown thus the extent to which it reflects the RCT intervention cannot be assessed. The outcomes that are important to patients are poorly understood and family and physician experiences have not been explored. CONCLUSIONS:A better understanding of this area could help to improve end-of-life care for frail older people. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER:CRD42017080246.
Project description:BACKGROUND:ACP enables individuals to define and discuss goals and preferences for future medical treatment and care with family and healthcare providers, and to record these goals and preferences if appropriate. Because general practitioners (GPs) often have long-lasting relationships with people with dementia, GPs seem most suited to initiate ACP. However, ACP with people with dementia in primary care is uncommon. Although several barriers and facilitators to ACP with people with dementia have already been identified in earlier research, evidence gaps still exist. We therefore aimed to further explore barriers and facilitators for ACP with community-dwelling people with dementia. METHODS:A qualitative design, involving all stakeholders in the care for community-dwelling people with dementia, was used. We conducted semi-structured interviews with community dwelling people with dementia and their family caregivers, semi structured interviews by telephone with GPs and a focus group meeting with practice nurses and case managers. Content analysis was used to define codes, categories and themes. RESULTS:Ten face to face interviews, 10 interviews by telephone and one focus group interview were conducted. From this data, three themes were derived: development of a trust-based relationship, characteristics of an ACP conversation and the primary care setting. ACP is facilitated by a therapeutic relationship between the person with dementia/family caregiver and the GP built on trust, preferably in the context of home visits. Addressing not only medical but also non-medical issues soon after the dementia diagnosis is given is an important facilitator during conversation. Key barriers were: the wish of some participants to postpone ACP until problems arise, GPs' time restraints, concerns about the documentation of ACP outcomes and concerns about the availability of these outcomes to other healthcare providers. CONCLUSIONS:ACP is facilitated by an open relationship based on trust between the GP, the person with dementia and his/her family caregiver, in which both medical and non-medical issues are addressed. GPs' availability and time restraints are barriers to ACP. Transferring ACP tasks to case managers or practice nurses may contribute to overcoming these barriers.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To explore how GPs conceptualise advance care planning (ACP), based on their experiences with ACP in their practice. METHODS:Five focus groups were held with 36 GPs. Discussions were analysed using a constant comparative method. RESULTS:Four overarching themes in the conceptualisations of ACP were discerned: (1) the organisation of professional care required to meet patients' needs, (2) the process of preparing for death and discussing palliative care options, (3) the discussion of care goals and treatment decisions, (4) the completion of advance directives. Within these themes, ACP was both conceptualised in terms of content of ACP and/or in terms of tasks for the GP. A specific task that was mentioned throughout the discussion of the four different themes was (5) the task of actively initiating ACP by the GP versus passively waiting for patients' initiation. CONCLUSIONS:This study illustrates that GPs have varying conceptualisations of ACP, of which some are more limited to specific aspects of ACP. A shared conceptualisation and agreement on the purpose and goals of ACP is needed to ensure successful implementation, as well as a systematic integration of ACP in routine practice that could lead to a better uptake of all the important elements of ACP.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To improve the quality of advance care planning (ACP) in primary care, it is important to understand the frequency of and topics involved in the ACP discussion between patients and their family physicians (FPs). METHODS:A secondary analysis of a previous multicenter cross-sectional observational study was performed. The primary outcome of this analysis was the frequency of and topics involved in the ACP discussion between outpatients and FPs. In March 2017, 22 family physicians at 17 clinics scheduled a day to assess outpatients and enrolled patients older than 65?years who were recognized by FPs as having regular visits. We defined three ACP discussion topics: 1) future decline in activities of daily living (ADL), 2) future inability to eat, and 3) surrogate decision makers. FPs assessed whether they had ever discussed any ACP topics with each patient and their family members, and if they had documented the results of these discussions in medical records before patients were enrolled in the present study. We defined patients as being at risk of deteriorating and dying if they had at least 2 positive general indicators or at least 1 positive disease-specific indicator in the Japanese version of the Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool. RESULTS:In total, 382 patients with a mean age of 77.4?±?7.9?years were enrolled, and 63.1% were female. Seventy-nine patients (20.7%) had discussed at least one ACP topic with their FPs. However, only 23 patients (6.0%) had discussed an ACP topic with family members and their FPs, with the results being documented in their medical records. The topic of future ADL decline was discussed and documented more often than the other two topics. Patients at risk of deteriorating and dying discussed ACP topics significantly more often than those not at risk of deteriorating and dying (39.4% vs. 16.8%, p?<?0.001). CONCLUSION:FPs may discuss ACP with some of their patients, but may not often document the results of this discussion in medical records. FPs need to be encouraged to discuss ACP with patients and family members and describe the decisions reached in medical records.
Project description:BACKGROUND:General practitioners (GPs) are advised to offer advance care planning (ACP) to people with dementia (PWD). In a randomized controlled trial, an educational intervention for GPs aimed at initiating and optimizing ACP proved to be effective. During the intervention most GPs were accompanied by their practice nurse (PN). To provide insights into the intervention's successful components and what could be improved, we conducted a process evaluation and explored implementation, mechanisms of impact and contextual factors. METHODS:We used the Medical Research Council guidance for process evaluations. Implementation was explored identifying reach and acceptability. We performed descriptive analyses of participants' characteristics; selection, inclusion and intervention attendance; a GP post-intervention survey on initiating ACP; a post intervention focus group with trainers of the intervention. Mechanisms of impact were explored identifying adoption and appropriateness. We used: participants' intervention ratings; a GP post-intervention survey on conducting ACP; ACP documentation in PWD's medical files; post-intervention interviews with PWD/FC dyads. All data was used to identify contextual factors. RESULTS:The intervention was implemented by a small percentage of the total Dutch GP population invited, who mostly included motivated PWD/FC dyads with relatively little burden, and PWD with limited cognitive decline. The mechanisms of impact for GPs were: interactively learning to initiate ACP with training actors with a heterogeneous group of GPs and PNs. For PWD/FCs dyads, discussing non-medical preferences was most essential regarding their SDM experience and QoL. Some dyads however found ACP stressful and not feasible. Younger female GPs more often initiated ACP. Male PWD and those with mild dementia more often had had ACP. These characteristics and the safe and intimate training setting, were important contextual facilitators. CONCLUSION:We recommend Interventions aimed at improving ACP initiation with PWD by GPs to include interactive components and discussion of non-medical preferences. A safe environment and a heterogeneous group of participants facilitates such interventions. However, in practice not all FC/PWD dyads will be ready to start. Therefore, it is necessary to check their willingness when ACP is offered.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:In 2012-2013, the English National Health Service mandated hospitals to conduct systematic case-finding of people with dementia among older people with unplanned admissions. The method was not defined. The aim of this study was to understand current approaches to dementia case-finding in acute hospitals in England and explore the views of healthcare professionals on perceived benefits and challenges. DESIGN:Qualitative study involving interviews, focus groups and thematic content analysis. SETTING:Primary care and secondary care across six counties in the East of England. PARTICIPANTS:Hospital staff involved in dementia case-finding and primary care staff in the catchment areas of those hospitals. RESULTS:We recruited 23 hospital staff and 36 primary care staff, including 30 general practitioners (GPs). Analysis resulted in three themes: (1) lack of consistent approaches in case-finding processes, (2) barriers between primary care and secondary care which impact on case-finding outcomes and (3) perceptions of rationale, aims and impacts of case-finding. The study shows that there were variations in how well hospitals recorded and reported outcomes to GPs. Barriers between primary care and secondary care, including GPs' lack of access to hospital investigations and lack of clarity about roles and responsibilities, impacted case-finding outcomes. Staff in secondary care were more positive about the initiative than primary care staff, and there were conflicting priorities for primary care and secondary care regarding case-finding. CONCLUSIONS:The study suggests a more evidence-based approach was needed to justify approaches to dementia case-finding. Information communicated to primary care from hospitals needs to be comprehensive, appropriate and consistent before GPs can effectively plan further investigation, treatment or care. Follow-up in primary care further requires access to options for postdiagnostic support. There is a need to evaluate the outcomes for patients and the economic impact on health and care services across settings.
Project description:Primary cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention in older people is challenging as they are a diverse group with varying needs, frequent presence of comorbidities, and are more susceptible to treatment harms. Moreover the potential benefits and harms of preventive medication for older people are uncertain. We explored GPs' decision making about primary CVD prevention in patients aged 75 years and older.25 GPs participated in semi-structured interviews in New South Wales, Australia. Transcribed audio-recordings were thematically coded and Framework Analysis was used.Analysis identified factors that are likely to contribute to variation in the management of CVD risk in older people. Some GPs based CVD prevention on guidelines regardless of patient age. Others tailored management based on factors such as perceptions of prevention in older age, knowledge of limited evidence, comorbidities, polypharmacy, frailty, and life expectancy. GPs were more confident about: 1) medication and lifestyle change for fit/healthy older patients, and 2) stopping or avoiding medication for frail/nursing home patients. Decision making for older patients outside of these categories was less clear.Older patients receive different care depending on their GP's perceptions of ageing and CVD prevention, and their knowledge of available evidence. GPs consider CVD prevention for older patients challenging and would welcome more guidance in this area.