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A Group Visit Initiative Improves Advance Care Planning Documentation among Older Adults in Primary Care.

Lum HD, Sudore RL, Matlock DD, Juarez-Colunga E, Jones J, Nowels M, Schwartz RS, Kutner JS, Levy CR. A Group Visit Initiative Improves Advance Care Planning Documentation among Older Adults in Primary Care. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM. 2017 Jul 1; 30(4):480-490.

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INTRODUCTION: Group visits for advance care planning (ACP) may help patients document preferences for decision makers and future care. We assessed the impact of a primary care-based ACP group visit (ACP-GV) intervention on older adults'' ACP documentation and why patients participated. METHODS: Older adults ( > 65 years) in primary care participated in a 2-session ACP-GV intervention that promotes group dynamics, peer-based learning, and goal setting. Charts were reviewed at baseline, 3 months, and 12 months for documentation of decision makers and ACP forms. We described patients'' reasons for participating through analysis of transcripts. RESULTS: 118 patients (mean age 76 years; 62% female and 82% white) participated in 16 ACP-GV cohorts. From baseline to 3-month follow-up, documentation of decision maker preferences increased from 39% to 81%, and was 89% at 12-month follow-up. Patients with completed ACP forms increased from 20% to 57% at 3 months, and was 67% at 12 months. Reasons for participating included recognizing the importance of ACP, curiosity, participation recommended by primary care provider, desire to talk with family/friends, and desire to complete advance directives. CONCLUSIONS: This ACP-GV intervention increased ACP documentation among patients with diverse reasons for participating. This is a patient-centered approach to ACP in primary care.

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