Effectiveness of End-of-Life Education Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults
Nursing ethics 2010 May ; 17(3): 363-72
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention regarding end-of-life discussion directed at older Japanese adults and their attitude to and acceptance of this intervention. A quasi-experimental design was used. A total of 121 older adults, aged 65 years and over, consented to participate. Data from 55 intervention and 57 control participants were used for the analysis. The intervention consisted of an education program comprising a video, a lecture using a handout, and discussion among participants. The control group received only the handout. Both groups were followed up after one month. The intervention group's attitude became more favorable towards advance directives, especially living wills (P = 0.024). In addition, their expression of preference for life-sustaining treatment by means of artificial nutrition was less at follow up, demonstrating that these older adults had become more autonomous (P = 0.008). There was greater acceptance of the intervention as a whole by the intervention group compared with the control group (P = 0.011). Although few participants overall completed living wills, at follow up twice as many in the intervention group had discussed end-of-life matters with family members and/or their physician.
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