Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 103–114

Stability Over Time in the Preferences of Older Persons for Life-Sustaining Treatment

  • Ines M. Barrio-Cantalejo
  • Pablo Simón-Lorda
  • Adoración Molina-Ruiz
  • Fátima Herrera-Ramos
  • Encarnación Martínez-Cruz
  • Rosa Maria Bailon-Gómez
  • Antonio López-Rico
  • Patricia Peinado Gorlat
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11673-012-9417-4

Cite this article as:
Barrio-Cantalejo, I.M., Simón-Lorda, P., Molina-Ruiz, A. et al. Bioethical Inquiry (2013) 10: 103. doi:10.1007/s11673-012-9417-4

Abstract

Objective: To measure the stability of life-sustaining treatment preferences amongst older people and analyse the factors that influence stability. Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Setting: Primary care centres, Granada (Spain). Eighty-five persons age 65 years or older. Participants filled out a questionnaire with six contexts of illness (LSPQ-e). They had to decide whether or not to receive treatment. Participants completed the questionnaire at baseline and 18 months later. Results: 86 percent of the patients did not change preferences. Sex, age, marital status, hospitalisation, and self-perception of health and pain did not affect preferences. Morbidity and the death of a relative did. Conclusion: Stability of preferences of older persons in relation to end-of-life decisions seems to be more probable than instability. Some factors, such as the death of a relative or the increase in morbidity, can change preferences. These findings have implications for advance directives (ADs) and advance care planning.

Keywords

End of lifeDecision-makingAdvance directivesAdvance care planning

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ines M. Barrio-Cantalejo
    • 1
  • Pablo Simón-Lorda
    • 2
  • Adoración Molina-Ruiz
    • 3
  • Fátima Herrera-Ramos
    • 4
  • Encarnación Martínez-Cruz
    • 5
  • Rosa Maria Bailon-Gómez
    • 6
  • Antonio López-Rico
    • 4
  • Patricia Peinado Gorlat
    • 1
  1. 1.Primary Care Centre AlmanjayarGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Andalusian Public Health SchoolGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Virgen de las Nieves HospitalGranadaSpain
  4. 4.Primary Care Centre Salvador CaballeroGranadaSpain
  5. 5.Primary Care Centre ZaidinGranadaSpain
  6. 6.Primary Care Centre CartujaGranadaSpain