Publication Details

Fan, E. & Rhee, J. J. (2017). A self-reported survey on the confidence levels and motivation of New South Wales practice nurses on conducting advance-care planning (ACP) initiatives in the general-practice setting. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 23 80-86.


Nurses are well positioned to initiate and conduct advance-care planning (ACP) conversations; however, there has been limited research on practice nurses performing this role in Australia. The aim of the present study was to understand the beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, confidence, training and educational needs of New South Wales practice nurses with regards to involvement in ACP. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted in August to October 2014. Nurses were recruited through nursing organisations and Medicare Locals. There were 147 completed surveys (n = 147). Participants were mostly female registered nurses, with a median age of 50, and 6 years of practice-nurse experience. Practice nurses were generally positive towards their involvement in ACP and believed it would be beneficial for the community. Their confidence in initiating ACP increased as their familiarity with patients increased. They showed a high level of interest in participating in training and education in ACP. Barriers to their involvement in ACP included the lack of a good documentation system, limited patient-education resources and unclear source of remuneration. Nurses were also concerned over legalities of ACP, ethical considerations and their understanding of end-of-life care options. Nevertheless, they were highly receptive of integrating ACP discussions and were willing to enhance their skills. These findings uncover a need for further training and development of practice nurses for ACP discussions.



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