, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 620-624,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 18 Jul 2010

Physician Use of Advance Care Planning Discussions in a Diverse Hospitalized Population


Two decades after the Patient Self Determination Act it is unknown how often physicians have advance care planning (ACP) discussions with hospitalized patients. The objective of this study is to investigate use of ACP discussions in a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual hospitalized population. Cross-sectional communication study of hospitalized patients. The Participants are 369 patients at one urban county hospital and one academic medical center. Interventions are not applicable. Participants were asked at baseline and a post-discharge interview whether hospital physicians had discussed either (a) what type of treatment they would want if they could not make decisions for themselves or (b) whether they would want cardiopulmonary resuscitation if needed. We compared patient characteristics for those who did and did not have an ACP discussion. Only 151 (41%) participants reported an ACP discussion. Rates of ACP were low across ethnic, language, education and age groups. In a multivariate model, scoring higher on a co-morbidity scale was associated with higher odds of reporting having had an ACP discussion during hospitalization; this finding remained after adjusting for time period and site of data collection. Multiethnic, multi-lingual hospitalized patients reported low rates of ACP discussions with their physicians regardless of ethnicity, English proficiency, education level or age.