Prevalence of advance care planning documentation in Australian health and residential aged care services report 2019

Healthy ageing Aged care Advance care directives Palliative care Australia

This report describes data and information relating to the 2018 Prevalence of Advance Care Planning Documentation in Australian Health and Residential Aged Care Services Study. The data represents the most comprehensive Australian evidence of advance care planning implementation in a selection of general practices, hospitals and residential aged care facilities across all jurisdictions.

Advance care planning is a process of planning for future health and personal care whereby the person’s values, beliefs and preferences are made known to guide decision-making at a future time when that person cannot make or communicate their decisions.

Advance care planning is a priority for quality person-centred, palliative or end-of-life care and promotes an individual’s choice and control over health care decisions. There are approximately 22 pieces of legislation related to advance care planning in Australia as well as jurisdictional and national policy, strategies, frameworks, accreditation standards and end-of-life review reports that support and prioritise advance care planning.

Informed by a 2017 pilot advance care planning documentation prevalence study, the purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence, characteristics and accessibility of statutory and nonstatutory advance care directives for older people at the point of care in Australian health and residential aged care services. This was achieved through conducting an audit of 4187 health records of individuals aged 65 years or more in participating general practices, hospitals, and residential aged care facilities. In addition, the study explored individual and site characteristics associated with advance care directives being available in the health record.


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