Exploring patients' advance care planning needs during the annual 75+ health assessment: Survey of Australian GPs' views and current practice
Australian Journal of Primary Health
Background: The 75+ health assessment has been identified as a suitable trigger to introduce advance care planning (ACP) to general practice patients. Australian general practitioners (GPs) were surveyed to explore their perceptions, attitudes and practices in introducing ACP during 75+ health assessments. Methods: A cross-sectional postal survey of Australian GPs covering their personal, professional and workplace characteristics, their current practice regarding ACP within a 75+ health assessment, and their attitude towards ACP. Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyse the factors associated with routinely discussing ACP as part of the 75+ health assessment. Results: A total of 185 (19.2%) out of 964 eligible GPs returned a completed survey. Most GPs reported that patients interested in ACP were supported by the GPs or the practice nurse. Two factors, (1) attitude that ACP is an essential component of the 75+ health assessment, and (2) regional or rural location of the practice, had a statistically and clinically significant association with the GP's self-reported discussion of ACP during 75+ health assessments. Conclusions: GPs showed a high level of support and involvement in discussing ACP during 75+ health assessments. ACP support during 75+ health assessments was often provided directly by the GP or via the practice nurse. Given the international evidence that ACP training programs improve skills and knowledge, and foster positive attitudes towards ACP, there is an important need to continue funding ACP training programs for GPs and practice nurses.
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National Health and Medical Research Council