Initiating advance care planning in New South Wales general practices using a structured conversation guide

Publication Name

Australian Journal of General Practice


Background and objective General practitioners (GPs) are encouraged to discuss advance care planning (ACP) as part of routine care of older adults, but initiating these conversations can be difficult. The aim of this study was to explore GPs’ perspectives on current ACP practice in New South Wales, Australia, and on an existing ACP conversation guide. Methods Three focus groups were held as part of an existing initiative, ‘Ask, Share, Know: Rapid Evidence for General Practice Decisions’. Data were analysed using an inductive thematic approach; themes identified informed adaptation of the conversation guide. Results Five key themes were identified: 1. general practice provides the optimal context for ACP discussions; 2. ACP priorities differ between GPs; 3. healthcare professionals’ roles in ACP vary; 4. confusion exists regarding ACP practice; and 5. the adapted conversation guide provides a useful structure for ACP. Discussion ACP practice varies between GPs. GPs preferred the adapted conversation guide, but further evaluation is required prior to implementation into practice.

Open Access Status

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Funding Sponsor

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners



Link to publisher version (DOI)