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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2006 Oct-Nov;23(5):378-84.

The state of advance care planning: one decade after SUPPORT.

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Department of Family and Community Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


The Study to Understand Prognoses and Preferences for Outcomes and Risks of Treatment (SUPPORT) was a landmark study regarding end-of-life decision making and advance care planning. Phase I of the study looked at the state of end of life in various hospitals, and phase II implemented a nurse-facilitated intervention designed to improve advance care planning, patient-physician communication, and the dying process. The observational phase found poor quality of care at the end of life and the intervention failed to improve the targeted outcomes. The negative findings brought public attention to the need to improve care for the dying and spawned a wealth of additional research on decision-making at the end of life. In the decade since SUPPORT, researchers have defined the attributes of a "good death," addressed the role of advance directives in advance care planning, and studied the use of surrogate decision-making at the end of life. This rekindled the discussion on advance care planning and challenged health care providers to design more flexible approaches to end of life care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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