The COVID-19 pandemic: A tipping point for advance care planning? Experiences of general practitioners
SourcePalliative Medicine, 35, 7, (2021), pp. 1238-1248
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused an acute risk of deterioration and dying for many, and an urgent need to start advance care planning. AIM: To explore how general practitioners (GPs) experienced discussing values, goals and preferences with patients during COVID-19. DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative research in general practice. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews for which Dutch GPs were recruited via purposive sampling. Content analysis was used. RESULTS: Fifteen GPs were interviewed. Six themes were identified: (i) urge of advance care planning, (ii) the GP's perceived role in it, (iii) preparations for it, (iv) (proactively) discussing it, (v) essentials for good communication and (vi) advance care planning in the (near) future. Calls for proactively discussing advance care planning in the media and in COVID-guidelines caused awareness of it's importance. GPs envisaged an important role for themselves in initiating it, especially with patients at risk to deteriorate or die from COVID-19. Timing advance care planning appeared difficult but crucial. The recommended digital way of communication was considered problematic due to missing nonverbal communication and difficulties in involving relatives. It was noted that admission to the ICU, which was hardly discussed before the COVID-19 pandemic, should remain a topic during advance care planning. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic brought advance care planning into a new light, GPs were more experienced with discussing it and patients were more aware of their frailty. Because of the nearing 'grey wave', advance care planning should remain top priority. Therefore, it should be central in GP and post-academic training.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.