Baseline Knowledge Attitudes Satisfaction and Aspirations With Advance Care Planning: A Cross-Sectional Study

Document Type


Publication Date



BACKGROUND: Studies have consistently demonstrated low rates of adoption of Advance Care Planning in the community. METHODS: We studied Medicare enrollees age 65 and over and non-Medicare patients using a cross-sectional survey undertaken in February and March 2019 using questionnaires completed by out-patients attending a teaching hospital clinic in East Tennessee USA. We evaluated patient knowledge, attitudes, satisfaction and aspirations towards Advance Care Planning. RESULTS: 141 properly completed questionnaires were used. All Medicare enrollees were aware of Advanced Care Planning compared to 43% in the non-Medicare group. 70% of the Medicare enrollees and 94% of non-Medicare group were not ready to complete a written Advanced Care Plan. Of the respondents, 46% had appointed spouses, 24% adult children, 11% siblings, 10% parents, 3.6% friends and 1.2% aunts as their surrogate medical decision makers. 41% agreed that they were satisfied with their current advance care planning arrangements. This research identified that individual's knowledge, attitudes and aspirations influenced the adoption of Advance Care. CONCLUSIONS: Patients have adopted the Advance Care Plan concept but have modified it to reduce their concerns by using family and loved ones to convey their wishes instead of filling the required legal documents. Clinicians could improve this informal system and increase the observability of the treatment choices including the use of video and web-based tools.