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National advance care planning prevalence study

18 May 2017

Decision Assist and Monash University

In a world-first pilot study, Decision Assist is partnering with Monash University to investigate the prevalence and accessibility of advance care planning (ACP) documentation for people over 65 years of age who are being cared for in hospital, by a general practice or who live in an aged care facility.

Advance care planning gives people the opportunity to clearly state their preferences for treatment and care when they are unable to speak for themselves. Clear documentation of a person’s wishes can help family and staff make decisions on a person’s behalf. Missing, incomplete or inaccurate documentation in an organisation’s records may mean that these plans are not carried out.

The study aims to explore people’s views on advance care planning, and to identify whether individual advance care plans are consistent with that person’s documented preferences for care and medical treatment. Advance care planning data from hospitals, general practices and residential aged care homes across Australia will be collected as part of this research. The outcomes from the study will assist health care staff to better understand and support a person’s preferences for their care.

Participation in the study will include:

  • Funding to support participation
  • Recognition of your organisation’s contribution
  • A package of information, including a telephone advisory line to ensure information is available to all staff members should questions on advance care planning arise during or after the project
  • Training sessions in data collection
  • Support and regular communication from the project team
  • A training manual to supplement the training program
  • Continuing professional development points for staff undertaking training and data collection, where applicable.

Further Information
This study is governed by an advisory group of experts from health, aged care, general practice, and universities. If you would like to know more about this study, please contact Decision Assist on (03) 9496 5660 or

This news item was featured in This Week in PHC Issue: 18 May 2017.

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