Background. While rates of advance care documentation amongst the general public remain low, there is increasing recognition of the value of informal planning to address patient preferences in serious illness. Objectives. To determine the associations between personal attributes and formal and informal planning for serious illness across age groups. Methods. This population-based, online survey was conducted in Saskatchewan, Canada, in April, 2012, using a nonclinical sample of 827 adults ranging from 18 to 88 years of age and representative of age, sex, and regional distribution of the province. Associations between key predictor variables and planning for serious illness were assessed using binary logistic regression. Results. While 16.6% of respondents had completed a written living will or advance care plan, half reported having conversations about their treatment wishes or states of health in which they would find it unacceptable to live. Lawyers were the most frequently cited source of assistance for those who had prepared advance care plans. Personal experiences with funeral planning significantly increased the likelihood of activities designed to plan for serious illness. Conclusions. Strategies designed to increase the rate of planning for future serious illness amongst the general public must account for personal readiness.
Goodridge, D., Quinlan, E., Venne, R., Hunter, P., & Surtees, D. (2013). Planning for Serious Illness by the General Public: A Population-Based Survey. ISRN Family Medicine, 2013, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.5402/2013/483673