Practice Matters

Advance Care Planning and End-Of-Life Communications: Practical Tips for Oncology Advanced Practitioners

Poonam Goswami, DNP, FNP-C, AOCNP®

From The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

Author’s disclosure of conflict of interest is found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Poonam Goswami DNP, FNP-C, AOCNP®, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: poonamgoswami@yahoo.com


J Adv Pract Oncol 2021;12(1):89–95 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2021.12.1.7 | © 2021 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Advance care planning discussions ensure patients’ values and goals of care, including the freedom to choose their place of death, are respected. The benefits of advance care planning and early end-of-life care discussions are often delayed, as these discussions are not initiated early in patients’ cancer trajectories. As a result, patients’ wishes often remain unknown until the last phase of their life. Evidence suggests that many patients inappropriately receive aggressive treatment near the end of life, which leads to higher resource utilization, decreased quality of life, and increased cost. The purpose of this article is to provide practical tips to the oncology advanced practitioner on initiating advance care planning and end-of-life care discussions with patients and their families or caregivers. 




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