Research team: Amy Waller, Rob Sanson-Fisher, Jan Shepherd
There is a surprising lack of methodologically rigorous research examining end of life issues for people cared for in hospitals, even though in Australia many patients are likely to die in this setting. The first study aims to examine whether older, hospitalised patients have discussed and documented their preferences, and for those who have not, the barriers to doing so. Older people and those at high risk of dying in the next 12 months will be recruited from hospitals. Patients are asked about preferences for end of life care and engagement in advance care planning in a standardised interview survey. Barriers and enablers to ACP and achieving end of life preferences are also explored. A second study will examine in a sample of nurses working in acute care wards: 1) the perceived impediments to the provision of end of life care to those dying in hospitals; and the potential strategies that might overcome these barriers; 2) self-reported knowledge and participation in advance care planning activities; and 3) perceived roles and responsibilities of nurses in delivering end of life care. Nurses providing care to patients in hospitals will be approached and asked to complete a 15 minute paper-pen survey.