Consumer, Provider, and Informal Caregiver Opinions on Psychiatric Advance Directives

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Psychiatric advance directives (PADs) are legal documents that permit competent adults to make choices in the present about their future psychiatric treatment if they lose their decision-making capacity. PADs may provide for the appointment of surrogate decision-makers. The present project was undertaken to obtain opinions from the consumer (the patient), provider, and informal caregiver/surrogate about the Oregon PAD. Results of this pilot study show that the majority of no-PAD group consumers reported that they did not get enough help with PAD preparation. The PAD group consumers reported feeling empowered by PAD preparation, but at the follow-up interview, they were less enthusiastic and more critical of PAD policy that was relevant to implementation. Many providers also were concerned about successful PAD implementation. PAD legislation alone does not translate into adequate policy.