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Important to distinguish between end-of-life values and preferences for improved advance care planning
  1. See Mieng Tan and
  2. Pin Sym Foong
  1. Telehealth Core, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to See Mieng Tan, Telehealth Core, National University of Singapore - Kent Ridge Campus, Singapore 119077, Singapore; ephtans{at}

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There have been active discussions in the literature pertaining to the creation of an advance care plan following a serious illness diagnosis. In advance care planning (ACP), differentiating clearly between end-of-life (EOL) values and EOL preferences is important. Thus, we recommend to focus on how both translate with each other and directly impact the ACP process. First, we explicate the observed problem and then discuss values and preferences independently of each other before recommending the way forward. We are motivated to contribute our opinion as it is important to establish a clear understanding of EOL values and EOL preferences in ACP. This will help researchers be cognisant of the ‘translation gap’ as an ongoing process in EOL decision-making.

The observed problem pertains to the challenges of defining and delineating ‘EOL values’ and ‘EOL preferences’. In the vernacular, ‘values’ and ‘preferences’ are often used interchangeably. However, it is pertinent that both terms be clearly distinguished from each other in research. There has been an implicit understanding in the literature that they are different from each other, but we call for a more distinct treatment to deal with both as related and interacting ideas. We are concerned that a lack of delineation may negatively …

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  • Contributors SMT conceptualised and wrote the Letter with editorial inputs from PSF. PSF provided Figure 1.

  • Funding This study was funded by National Research Foundation (MOH-002069-00).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.