Background Uptake of advance care planning (ACP) statutory documentation in Western Australia is sub-optimal, at below 10%. A pilot ACP Support project, delivered in collaboration by the state’s peak not-for-profit palliative care (Palliative Care WA, PCWA) and carer (Carers WA) organisations, aimed to improve individuals’ capacity to progress ACP, including completion of ACP documents, through provision of one-to-one support after attending community-based ACP education workshops.
Method Participants were invited to make direct contact with PCWA to book the service or were engaged directly following attendance at a community ACP workshop presented by PCWA. Participants provided direct consent to access the service which was provided either in the participant’s home, PCWA office or community setting. The ACP Support Officer, a non-clinical role, engaged with each participant to establish their values and preferences and to provide support to complete formal documentation if desired. PCWA’s ACP model – ‘Think, Talk, Write and Share’ was used to guide the discussion (figure 1).
Results During the six-month period February to July 2022, the service engaged with 83 participants. End-of-life and ACP conversations were facilitated with 77 (93%) of these clients and 64 (78%) participants progressed their ACP documentation. Fourteen (12%) participants identified as culturally diverse, 5 (4%) self-identified as living with a disability and 2 (2%) reported belonging to the LGBTIQA+ community. Based on these initial positive results, Carers WA has extended the pilot for a further 12 months and additional funding has been provided to employ another ACP Support Officer.
Conclusion Findings from the ACP Support Pilot strongly suggest that one-to-one support results in increased ACP discussions and completion of associated documentation. Further research is needed to consolidate initial findings and identify any implications.
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