Life Values, Resuscitation Preferences, and the Applicability of Living Wills in an Older Population
Schonwetter, Ronald S.
Walker, Robert M.
Robinson, Bruce E.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 1996 Aug; 44(8): 954-958.
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether life values are related to resuscitation preferences and living will completion in an older population and to assess beliefs about the applicability of living wills. DESIGN: Individual structured interviews. SETTING: An independent retirement community. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred thirty-two subjects older than 63 years of age. MEASUREMENTS: Resuscitation preferences were elicited in five hypothetical scenarios. Subjects with living wills were asked whether their living will would play a role in the scenarios. Subjects rated the importance of 13 life value statements. RESULTS: The percentage of subjects desiring CPR in each scenario was as follows: current condition (66%); acute illness (33%); terminal disease (8%); functional impairment (8%); and dementia (7%). The percentage of those with a living will who thought their living wills would play a role in the scenarios was as follows: acute illness (84%); terminal disease (93%); functional impairment with intact cognition (66%); and dementia (91%). Factor analysis of the life value statements revealed five meaningful factors: quality of life; capacity/autonomy; family relations; physical comfort; and treatment philosophy. Multiple correlations were found between four of five life value factors and hypothetical resuscitation preferences or the presence of a living will. CONCLUSION: Subjects misinterpreted the applicability of living wills in nonterminal illness scenarios. A relationship between life values and resuscitation preferences was noted, which emphasizes the importance of eliciting and including life values when discussing advance directives.
Advance Directives; Aged; Attitudes; Autonomy; Cognition; Competence; Comprehension; Dementia; Disease; Evaluation; Evaluation Studies; Family Relationship; Interviews; Illness; Knowledge; Life; Living Wills; Pain; Philosophy; Quality of Life; Residential Facilities; Resuscitation; Resuscitation Orders; Suffering; Survey; Terminally Ill; Values; Wills;
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Life Values, Resuscitation Preferences, and the Applicability of Living Wills in an Older Population Schonwetter, Ronald S.; Walker, Robert M.; Solomon, Marcy; Indurkhya, Alka; Robinson, Bruce E. (1996-08)