Background Our previous study suggested that elderly Japanese people find it difficult to discuss with family and healthcare professionals about end-of-life (EOL). To address this issue, we have developed a prototype for a web-based Advance Care Planning (ACP) education tool. This tool has five components: (1) EOL simulated experience program, (2) thoughts about EOL vignettes, (3) wishes about truth telling, (4) EOL care preferences, (5) my favorite life. We evaluated whether this online educational tool encouraged ACP for a sample of community-dwelling adults.
Methods Ten participants (mean age: 63.8 years) were requested to use it for one month. Data was collected from the entries on the tool website, and a semi-structured interview was conducted later. The percentage of each completed ACP component was calculated. The qualitative data was analyzed by the thematic analysis. IRB approval was obtained from the researchers’ institution.
Results The highest percentage of completed ACP component was “EOL care preferences”. Ways to foster ACP with the tool yielded four main themes: understanding of ACP, embarrassment due to ACP, my preferred procedure of ACP, and advantages and disadvantages of the web-based tool.
Conclusion This tool encouraged the adults who had not previously considered ACP to recognize the importance of thinking about EOL, they are still healthy though. However, fostering ACP was connected to depression, depending on the individual’s readiness in thinking of his own death. Hence, future research will be applied to improve this tool and make it more user friendly for a large number of the adults.
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