Background ACP not only presupposes the availability of competent expert advice, but also has to take into account the extreme emotional burden which citizens/patients can feel themselves under when having to imagine disease-related crises potentially affecting them in the future, and which could threaten not only their quality of life, but even life itself. It can be particularly difficult for people with a close emotional bond to cope with imagining such crises.
Aim The significance of the emotional burden involved in ACP should be acknowledged, and the stress factors reduced through selected use of movie clips.
Methods In-house film clips (1) are prepared for use in consultation seminars to help take a look behind the scenes, making it clear with objective contributions that the key issue is to be able to respect the wishes and values of the patient at all times. Humorous movie clips (2) are used in order to release emotional tension in those involved.
Results By selectively using objective examples from in-house film clips, an insight is given into consultation procedures (reduction of fear through information), while humorous clips make it clear that talks between family members about ACP represent a “natural” burden which can be overcome (reduction of fear through humour).
Discussion Humour is a much-researched power which can act as a facilitator to enable patients and their next of kin to cope with situations which they find threatening by reducing their stress levels.
Conclusion The utilisation of movies and in-house film clips is currently undergoing testing as a useful support mechanism in successful ACP.
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