Introduction Advance care planning (ACP) research in older age with its impact on patients, carers, clinicians and society, should be widely communicated to the public. The low uptake of ACP in later life highlights this need.
Aims To establish how to communicate to the public findings from ACP research in later life including:
where to communicate research to maximise societal impact
what format to communicate research
how to reach a diverse audience.
Method A People’s Research Cafe was conducted at an outdoor university showcase event communicating medical research, co-hosted by an academic doctor and a lay older carer. This provided a relaxed outdoor cafe environment to have meaningful conversations about how to convey ACP research in older age. The public was informed about ACP research and invited to advise how to communicate research findings across society. Ideas were written on flash cards and collected by the co-hosts.
Results The public highlighted the importance of a trans-generational approach when communicating ACP research in later life, including to younger persons who may be carers or affected family. A multi-pronged approach was proposed to maximise societal impact, involving online media and written communications. This included communications targeting older adults and healthcare settings, particularly primary care, the voluntary sector, patient and carer advocacy groups, and working with diverse groups of local community leaders. Repeated, consistent and clear messages were recommended.
Conclusion ACP research is welcomed by the public. Research findings should be communicated in a way that is accessible, clear and relevant. A multi-pronged, trans-generational approach is recommended to maximise impact and engage diverse groups.
Impact The public involvement in our study strongly supports the need to communicate ACP research in a diverse multi-pronged approach using consistent and clear messaging.
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