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Advance care planning in stroke: influence of time on engagement in the process

Authors Green T, Gandhi S, Kleissen T, Simon J, Raffin-Bouchal S, Ryckborst K

Received 22 September 2013

Accepted for publication 1 November 2013

Published 24 January 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 119—126

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S54822

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Theresa Green1, Shreyas Gandhi2, Tessa Kleissen1, Jessica Simon1,3, Shelley Raffin-Bouchal1, Karla Ryckborst4

1Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; 2Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 3Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; 4Calgary Stroke Program, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, AB, Canada

Purpose: Individuals who experience stroke have a higher likelihood of subsequent stroke events, making it imperative to plan for future medical care. In the event of a further serious health event, engaging in the process of advanced care planning (ACP) can help family members and health care professionals (HCPs) make medical decisions for individuals who have lost the capacity to do so. Few studies have explored the views and experiences of patients with stroke about discussing their wishes and preferences for future medical events, and the extent to which stroke HCPs engage in conversations around planning for such events. In this study, we sought to understand how the process of ACP unfolded between HCPs and patients post-stroke.
Patients and methods: Using grounded theory (GT) methodology, we engaged in direct observation of HCP and patient interactions on an acute stroke unit and two stroke rehabilitation units. Using semi-structured interviews, 14 patients and four HCPs were interviewed directly about the ACP process.
Results: We found that open and continual ACP conversations were not taking place, patients experienced an apparent lack of urgency to engage in ACP, and HCPs were uncomfortable initiating ACP conversations due to the sensitive nature of the topic.
Conclusion: In this study, we identified lack of engagement in ACP post-stroke, attributable to patient and HCP factors. This encourages us to look further into the process of ACP in order to develop open communication between the patient with stroke, their families, and stroke HCPs.
Keywords: qualitative, engagement, health care providers, palliative

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