Background Implementation of advance care planning (ACP) is proceeding in the western world and often recognised as a sufficient approach to ensure patients’ wishes for end of life (EoL) care. There is evidence that patient related outcomes are improved. However, information about the impact of ACP on quality of life (QoL) in palliative cancer patients is missing.
Methods This randomised controlled trial investigates the efficacy and effectiveness of a collaborative ACP (cACP) intervention in palliative cancer patients and their care givers by comparing three groups: 1. cACP-Intervention; 2. Supportive intervention 3. Treatment as usual. The cACP-intervention consists of four sessions (two with the patient alone, one with the care giver alone, one together) that address potential barriers to discuss end of life issues (e.g. negative expectations concerning EoL issues and ACP) and two regular ACP sessions. Primary endpoint is the patient health-related QoL (FACIT-PAL). Secondary endpoints are general QoL; distress; acceptance; depressiveness; evaluation of the intervention; care-givers: heath-related and general QoL. Patients’ QoL is evaluated every second month for one year. In the event of the patients death, care-givers are asked to answer questions about concordance of advance care planning with actual care and the patients quality of dying.
Results Until 11/18, 75 patients have been randomized, 13 patients finished the intervention, 21 patients died, denial rate is at approx. 55%.
Conclusion This study tries to implement ACP in a palliative cancer setting in Germany. The efficacy and effectiveness of a novel collaborative ACP intervention are evaluated.
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