The perspectives of in-hospital healthcare professionals on the timing and collaboration in advance care planning: A survey study

I. van Doorne, K. Mokkenstorm, D.L. Willems, B.M. Buurman, M. van Rijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background
Hospital admissions are common in the last phase of life. However, palliative care and advance care planning (ACP) are provided late or not at all during hospital admission.

Aim
To provide insight into the perceptions of in-hospital healthcare professionals concerning current and ideal practice and roles of in-hospital palliative care and advance care planning.

Methods
An electronic cross-sectional survey was send 398 in-hospital healthcare professionals in five hospitals in the Netherlands. The survey contained 48 items on perceptions of palliative care and ACP.

Results
We included non-specialists who completed the questions of interest, resulting in analysis of 96 questionnaires. Most respondents were nurses (74%). We found that current practice for initiating palliative care and ACP was different to what is considered ideal practice. Ideally, ACP should be initiated for almost every patient for whom no treatment options are available (96.2%), and in case of progression and severe symptoms (94.2%). The largest differences between current and ideal practice were found for patients with functional decline (Current 15.2% versus Ideal 78.5%), and patients with an estimated life expectancy <1 year (Current 32.6% versus ideal 86.1%). Respondents noted that providing palliative care requires collaboration, however, especially nurses noted barriers like a lack of inter-professional consensus.

Conclusions
The differences between current and ideal practice demonstrate that healthcare professionals are willing to improve palliative care. To do this, nurses need to increase their voice, a shared vision of palliative care and recognition of the added value of working together is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14772
Number of pages8
JournalHeliyon
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

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