Prevalence and Predictors of Advance Directives in Australia

Internal Medicine Journal, 44(10), pp. 975-980, 2014

Posted: 10 Jul 2016

See all articles by Ben White

Ben White

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Cheryl Tilse

University of Queensland

Jill Wilson

University of Queensland

Linda Rosenman

University of Queensland

Tanya Strub

Queensland Government - Queensland Government - Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Rachel Feeney

University of Queensland

William Silvester

University of Melbourne - Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Background: Advance care planning is regarded as integral to better patient outcomes yet little is known about the prevalence of advance directives in Australia.

Aims: To determine the prevalence of advance directives (ADs) in the Australian population.

Methods: 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.

Results: Fourteen percent 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.

Conclusions: Despite efforts to improve uptake of advance care planning (including ADs), 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 ADs.

Keywords: Advance care planning, Advance directives, Adult guardianship, Health law, Medical law

Suggested Citation

White, Ben and Tilse, Cheryl and Wilson, Jill and Rosenman, Linda and Strub, Tanya and Feeney, Rachel and Silvester, William, Prevalence and Predictors of Advance Directives in Australia (2014). Internal Medicine Journal, 44(10), pp. 975-980, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2806744

Ben White (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/whiteb/

Cheryl Tilse

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Jill Wilson

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Linda Rosenman

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Tanya Strub

Queensland Government - Queensland Government - Department of the Premier and Cabinet

100 George St
Brisbane City, QLD 4000
Australia

Rachel Feeney

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

William Silvester

University of Melbourne - Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Australia

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