Background One of the most important aims of palliative care is to ensure quality of life for the patient. Especially in end-of-life care it is not always easy to determine what quality of life means for each individual patient. Different cultural backgrounds and life experiences have to be taken into account. Often nurses and family members are not sure if the patient is treated according to his wishes. Therefore the caregivers themselves are stressed.
Aim To show that ACP can be used as a tool to improve quality of life in end-of-life care, by making sure that patients’ wishes are known and followed. To show how different cultural backgrounds influence ACP.
Methods A literature review was performed using medical databases. The search results were rated using the Prisma check list.
Results ACP offers patients and caregivers the opportunity to think about their wishes and preferences concerning future health care, focusing on their personal quality of life. Therefore relatives and professional caregivers know more about what the patient wants and can make sure that end-of-life care is in accordance with these wishes. This improves quality of life for the patients as well as for their caregivers. People of different cultures found ACP to be helpful, nonetheless it is necessary to adapt the ACP technique according to the cultural background.
Discussion/conclusion ACP is an effective tool for improving quality of life in end-of-life care and can be performed for different cultural backgrounds. It takes time to develop and establish ACP in a society, but it is worth the effort.
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