Advance care planning can improve patient-centered care and potentially reduce intensification of care at the end of life.
Of 513 patients and 366 family members approached, 278 patients (54.2%) and 225 family members (61.5%) consented to participate. The mean ages of patients and family members were 80.0 and 60.8 years, respectively. Before hospitalization, most patients (76.3%) had thought about end-of-life (EOL) care, and only 11.9% preferred life-prolonging care; 47.9% of patients had completed an advance care plan, and 73.3% had formally named a surrogate decision maker for health care. Of patients who had discussed their wishes, only 30.3% had done so with the family physician and 55.3% with any member of the health care team. Agreement between patients' expressed preferences for EOL care and documentation in the medical record was 30.2%. Family members' perspectives were similar to those of patients.