In the study, published recently in CMAJ, patients and their families say the most important aspects to discuss are:
- preferences for care in the event of life-threatening illness
- patient values
- prognosis of illness
- fears or concerns
- additional questions regarding care.
“However, we found that these elements are infrequently discussed and that concordance between preferred and prescribed goals of care is low,” the authors stated.
Researchers found that the more elements of care that physicians discussed with patients, the higher the satisfaction that they and their families reported regarding care received, and the higher the concordance between preferred and prescribed goals of care.
“Our results suggest that concordance between preferences and prescribed goals of care, as well as satisfaction with end of life communication, increase with the number of elements discussed,” write the authors.
For more information visit McMaster University’s website or access the full article “What really matters in end-of-life discussions? Perspectives of patients in hospital with serious illness and their families” in CMAJ.