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How Do General Practitioners Conceptualise Advance Care Planning in Their Practice? A Qualitative Study

, : How Do General Practitioners Conceptualise Advance Care Planning in Their Practice? A Qualitative Study. Plos One 11(4): E0153747-E0153747

To explore how GPs conceptualise advance care planning (ACP), based on their experiences with ACP in their practice. Five focus groups were held with 36 GPs. Discussions were analysed using a constant comparative method. Four overarching themes in the conceptualisations of ACP were discerned: (1) the organisation of professional care required to meet patients' needs, (2) the process of preparing for death and discussing palliative care options, (3) the discussion of care goals and treatment decisions, (4) the completion of advance directives. Within these themes, ACP was both conceptualised in terms of content of ACP and/or in terms of tasks for the GP. A specific task that was mentioned throughout the discussion of the four different themes was (5) the task of actively initiating ACP by the GP versus passively waiting for patients' initiation. This study illustrates that GPs have varying conceptualisations of ACP, of which some are more limited to specific aspects of ACP. A shared conceptualisation and agreement on the purpose and goals of ACP is needed to ensure successful implementation, as well as a systematic integration of ACP in routine practice that could lead to a better uptake of all the important elements of ACP.


PMID: 27096846

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153747

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