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Prevalence and predictors of advance directives in Australia

White, Ben, Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, Rosenman, Linda, Strub, T., Feeney, R. and Silvester, William (2014). Prevalence and predictors of advance directives in Australia. Internal Medicine Journal,44(10):975-980.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 75039815xPUB581
Title Prevalence and predictors of advance directives in Australia
Author White, Ben
Tilse, Cheryl
Wilson, Jill
Rosenman, Linda
Strub, T.
Feeney, R.
Silvester, William
Journal Name Internal Medicine Journal
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 44
Issue Number 10
ISSN 1444-0903   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84913546288
Start Page 975
End Page 980
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Background
Advance care planning is regarded as integral to better patient outcomes, yet little is known about the prevalence of advance directives (AD) in Australia.


To determine the prevalence of AD in the Australian population.


A national telephone survey about estate and advance planning. Sample was stratified by age (18–45 and >45 years) and quota sampling occurred based on population size in each state and territory.


Fourteen per cent of the Australian population has an AD. There is state variation with people from South Australia and Queensland more likely to have an AD than people from other states. Will making and particularly completion of a financial enduring power of attorney are associated with higher rates of AD completion. Standard demographic variables were of limited use in predicting whether a person would have an AD.


Despite efforts to improve uptake of advance care planning (including AD), barriers remain. One likely trigger for completing an AD and advance care planning is undertaking a wider future planning process (e.g. making a will or financial enduring power of attorney). This presents opportunities to increase advance care planning, but steps are needed to ensure that planning, which occurs outside the health system, is sufficiently informed and supported by health information so that it is useful in the clinical setting. Variations by state could also suggest that redesign of regulatory frameworks (such as a user-friendly and well-publicised form backed by statute) may help improve uptake of AD.
Keywords advance directive
advance care planning
end-of-life decision-making
medical law
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Created: Wed, 19 Aug 2015, 12:18:23 CST