Background Information meetings are a way to inform older people about end-of-life care, to create awareness, and to prepare for advance care planning (ACP). Research shows that information meetings stimulate engagement in ACP. This study explores whether older people are interested in information meetings, in which topics they are interested, and what factors are associated with being interested.
Methods A cross-sectional study consisted of 1242 older persons (≥ 65 years; response 93.2%) from a representative sample of the Dutch population. Older persons were asked whether they were interested in information meetings on end-of-life care (yes; no; possibly in the future) and given a list of potential topics. Logistic regression analyses for interest in information meetings (yes vs no) were done.
Results One-third of older people reported to attend an information meeting if they were invited this week (33.5%), whereas 33.3% was not interested and 33.2% was (possibly) interested in the future. Older people were mainly interested to receive information about possibilities for care at home (88.1%), symptom relief (87.7%), and advance directives (80.6%). Having a higher education level (58% vs 53%; OR 1.54), contacting their general practitioner (GP) more often (53.2% vs 41.2%; OR 1.53), self-reported knowledge of palliative care (53.6% vs 38.5%; OR 1.96), and having previously thought about end-of-life care topics (53.6% vs 38.5%; OR 1.74), were associated with being interested in attending an information meeting.
Conclusions Older people are open to information meetings when they have contact with their GP, have self-reported knowledge of palliative care, are already occupied with end-of-life topics and have a higher education level. This may be related to a higher awareness of both the need for and more readiness to engage in ACP. Extra attention should be paid to older people less interested in or hard to reach for information meetings.
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