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Hepatology. 2018 May;67(5):2025-2040. doi: 10.1002/hep.29731. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

Advance care planning (ACP) for specialists managing cirrhosis: A focus on patient-centered care.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine and Division of Palliative Care, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
PPRISM Non-Cancer Palliative Care Clinic, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
CEGIIR, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Cirrhosis Care Clinic, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Center for Neuroscience, University of Alberta.


Advance care planning (ACP) and goals of care designation (GCD) are being integrated into modern health care. In cirrhosis, uptake and adoption of these practices have been limited with physicians citing many perceived barriers and limitations. Recognizing the many tangible benefits of ACP and GCD processes in patients with life-limiting chronic diseases, the onus is on health practitioners to initiate and direct these conversations with their patients and surrogates. Drawing upon the literature and our experiences in palliative care and cirrhosis, we provide an actionable framework that can be readily implemented into a busy clinical setting by a practitioner. Conversation starters, visual aids, educational resources (for patients and practitioners), and videos of mock physician-patient scenarios are presented and discussed. Importantly, we have customized each of these tools to meet the unique health care needs of patients with cirrhosis. The inherent flexibility of our approach to ACP discussions and GCD can be further modified to accommodate practitioner preferences.


In our clinics, this assemblage of "best practice tools" has been well received by patients and surrogates enabling us to increase the number of outpatients with cirrhosis who have actively contributed to their GCD before acute health events and are supported by well-informed surrogates. (Hepatology 2018;67:2025-2040).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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