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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
Are older Australians receiving the medical care that they want, and how well does their care align with their personal values and preferences?
To help answer this question, Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) is leading a pioneering research project, the National Advance Care Directive Prevalence Study 2018, the first of its kind in Australia.
ACPA is inviting aged care providers, GP clinics and hospitals to take part in this study.
The study involves an audit of the health records of people aged 65 years and over to determine the prevalence, characteristics and accessibility of Advance Care Directives and other advance care planning documentation in Australian health and residential aged care services.
Why is the study important?
While ACDs are gaining more recognition as an important element of person-centred care, uptake in Australia remains low. This research aims to build a national picture of ACD uptake in Australia and how well it’s delivered.
Findings from the study will be used to inform government policy on advance care planning, with a view to helping more Australians live well into their older years and according to their values and preferences.
What are the benefits to participating organisations?
This project will appeal to organisations that want to contribute to ground-breaking research and have an interest in improving the quality of their advance care planning recording and documentation.
Participants will receive a customised report presenting their results benchmarked against other de-identified participating organisations. This will show how well advance care planning is being implemented within their service, and will support their quality improvement and accreditation standards requirements.
What support is available to participating organisations?
A training and resources package and ongoing support is available to all participants to ensure that individuals involved in the study are upskilled in their knowledge and awareness of advance care planning.
ACPA staff will also be available to answer queries, by phone and/or email throughout the project.
Further training in advance care planning is available online through ACPA Learning.
When will the results of the 2017 Advance Care Directive Prevalence Pilot Study be made available?
Results of our pilot study are currently under review. We look forward to making these results available later in the year.
Linda Nolte, Program Director, Advance Care Planning Australia