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Advance Care Planning 

Advance Care Planning
Advance Care Planning

Jeanine Blackford

and Annette F. Street

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date: 20 January 2019

Advance care planning (ACP) is a process that has developed internationally to facilitate communication between individuals and healthcare providers to identify and document medical and personal care preferences consistent with personal values in the event that the patient becomes too ill in the future to express his or her wishes. Patients also identify a proxy, someone they trust to insure that their healthcare wishes are respected should they lose decision-making capacity. ACP is an essential communication skill required in palliative care to insure person-centered care. This chapter describes key communication strategies to ensure that ACP is integrated into palliative care practice. Opportunities for providers to facilitate ACP across the palliative illness trajectory are identified with suggestions for how to begin the conversation at different transition points, from referral through treatment and care to discharge. It also identifies available resources and decision aids and addresses barriers and enablers to effective ACP.

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