Advance directives and community-dwelling older adults

Carole F. Hamel, Lorna W. Guse, Pamela G. Hawranik, John B. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Advance directives (ADs) are documents that allow competent individuals to set forth their medical treatment wishes and/or to name a proxy in the event that they lose the capacity to communicate these decisions in the future. Despite the benefits of and support for such documents, very few people have completed an AD. This posttest-only experimental study examined whether an individualized intervention given to half of the older adults who attended an educational session increased the discussion and/or completion ofADs. Of the 74 participants, 25.7% (n = 19) completed an AD. There were no significant differences between control and intervention groups on the discussion and/or completion of ADs. Multivariate analysis indicated that perceived barriers were significantly associated with the discussion and completion of ADs. Content analysis revealed that major barriers to discussion and completion include procrastination and a reluctance to think about deteriorating health status and/or death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-158
Number of pages16
JournalWestern Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar. 2002


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