Article Text

Download PDFPDF
OA33 Think ahead
  1. Catherine McGuinness1,
  2. Sarah Murphy2 and
  3. Brendan O’Shea3
  1. 1National Council of the Forum on End of Life
  2. 2Think Ahead, Irish Hospice Foundation
  3. 3Trinity College Dublin GP Training Scheme, Ireland


Background Think Ahead is a public awareness initiative of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland. The Think Ahead Form ( guides people in recording important information in the event that they are unable to speak for themselves, due to serious illness, emergency or death.

Aim To engage the public to use Think Ahead and to build capacity of community organisations and health care professionals to empower people to use the tool if they wish.

Method A ‘Think Ahead’ form and website were designed and launched as guidance tools for the public. A range of processes were also engaged in, including:

  • Public consultation

  • Consultation with key stakeholders

  • GP research: involving 120 people up to 70 years of age, examined people’s experiences of filling in the Think Ahead form

  • Nursing home research: involving staff and residents in nursing homes in Kildare in 2014

  • Regional community– based pilots: Regional pilots took place in Limerick and Louth, late 2012

  • Train the trainer programmes with community organisations


  • Very positive outcomes for patients and GPs

  • Nursing home staff empowered to enable residents to express their preferences

  • 80% of public believed that Think Ahead would be of interest to the general public

  • 30,000 forms distributed since 2011

  • Active Retirement Ireland rolling out Think Ahead

Conclusion The research and public engagement activities have shown that Think Ahead is a citizen-led practical tool which people can use as part of their planning for end of life.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.