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Advance care planning in older hospitalised patients following an emergency admission: A mixed methods study.

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Bielinska, Anna-Maria  ORCID logo
Archer, Stephanie 
Obanobi, Adetokunbo 
Soosipillai, Gehan 
Darzi, Lord Ara 


INTRODUCTION: Although advance care planning may be beneficial for older adults in the last year of life, its relevance following an emergency hospitalisation requires further investigation. This study quantifies the one-year mortality outcomes of all emergency admissions for patients aged 70+ years and explores patient views on the value of advance care planning following acute hospitalisation. METHOD: This mixed methods study used a two-stage approach: firstly, a quantitative longitudinal cohort study exploring the one-year mortality of patients aged 70+ admitted as an emergency to a large multi-centre hospital cohort; secondly, a qualitative semi-structured interview study gathering information on patient views of advance care planning. RESULTS: There were 14,260 emergency admissions for 70+-year olds over a 12-month period. One-year mortality for admissions across all conditions was 22.6%. The majority of these deaths (59.3%) were within 3 months of admission. Binary logistic regression analysis indicated higher one-year mortality with increasing age and male sex. Interviews with 20 patients resulted in one superordinate theme, "Planning for health and wellbeing in the spectrum of illness". Sub-themes entitled (1) Advance care planning benefitting healthcare for physical and psycho-social health, (2) Contemplation of physical deterioration death and dying and 3) Collaborating with healthcare professionals to undertake advance care planning, suggest that views of advance care planning are shaped by experiences of acute hospitalisation. CONCLUSION: Since approximately 1 in 5 patients aged 70+ admitted to hospital as an emergency are in the last year of life, acute hospitalisation can act as a trigger for tailored ACP. Older hospitalised patients believe that advance care planning can benefit physical and psychosocial health and that discussions should consider a spectrum of possibilities, from future health to the potential of chronic illness, disability and death. In this context, patients may look for expertise from healthcare professionals for planning their future care.



Advance Care Planning, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Emergency Medical Services, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Mortality, Patient Admission, Retrospective Studies, Sex Factors

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PLoS One

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Public Library of Science (PLoS)