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Embedding Advance Directives in Routine Care for Persons with Serious Mental Illness: The Virginia Advance Directive Project

20 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2015 Last revised: 23 Mar 2016

Heather Zelle

UVA Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy; UVA Department of Public Health sciences

Kathleen Kemp

Brown University - Warren Alpert Medical School

Richard J. Bonnie

University of Virginia - School of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2015

Abstract

For people with serious mental illness, research demonstrates the potential positive effects of having an advance directive with specific instructions for mental health care. The Commonwealth of Virginia has undertaken efforts to incorporate completion of psychiatric advance directives into routine mental health services for individuals with serious mental illness. The following sequence of three articles aims to acquaint specialists in mental health law, health services research, and policy implementation research with the Virginia Advance Directive Project. The first describes the origins and structure of the Project, including the legislative history and content of the law, and the multi-stakeholder structure created to implement it. The second article identifies the innovations that were needed to translate the opportunity created by the law into routine practice on a statewide basis. The third article describes the barriers to statewide implementation that have been encountered during the first three years of the project.

Suggested Citation

Zelle, Heather and Kemp, Kathleen and Bonnie, Richard J., Embedding Advance Directives in Routine Care for Persons with Serious Mental Illness: The Virginia Advance Directive Project (February 1, 2015). Psychiatric Services 2015-66; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 9. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2560330

Heather Zelle

UVA Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

UVA Department of Public Health sciences ( email )

United States

Kathleen Kemp

Brown University - Warren Alpert Medical School ( email )

Providence, RI 02912
United States

Richard J. Bonnie (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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