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O-60 Preferences for end-of-life care and advance care planning in the event of dementia: A nationwide survey of older Australians
  1. Marcus Sellars1,
  2. William Silvester1,
  3. T Holman2 and
  4. C O’Leary1
  1. 1Respecting Patient Choices, Austin Health, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Insync Surveys Incorporating UltraFeedback, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Abstract

Background Advanced dementia (AD) is an incurable disease of the brain in which people are not able to communicate with others; however the literature shows there’s low uptake of advance care planning (ACP) among people with dementia.

Aim To conduct a national survey on older Australian’s preferences for treatment and ACP in a state of AD.

Methods A survey was distributed through an online panel (n = 1,003) to examine the above.

Results Most respondents showed a preference for comfort care (75%) or limited care (20%) rather than life-prolonging care (5%) if they required medical treatment in a state of AD. Furthermore, overall preferences for care changed significantly after reading a description of AD (p < 0.001), with preference for comfort care increasing (79%) and limited care decreasing (16%). Similarly, although <10% of respondents had previously documented ACP wishes; most wanted to in a state of AD and this preference increased significantly after reading a description of AD (p < 0.001). Preference for a written plan increased (72% pre vs. 77% post) and preferences for making an oral plan only (13% vs. 10%) and leaving all medical decisions to the family or doctor decreased (16% vs. 12%).

Discussion Older Australians prefer comfort or limited care and to have documented ACP wishes if they become seriously ill and require medical treatment in a state of AD.

Conclusion The opportunity for older Australians to complete ACP will assist to communicate their wishes in the event they become seriously ill and require medical treatment in a state of AD.

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