Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Katie Wollerman

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Melodie Rowbotham

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Bernadette Sobczak


Advance Care Planning, Advance Directive, Primary Care, Living Will, Power of Attorney, Family Practice


Advance care planning (ACP) is the process of preemptively making choices regarding medical preferences for end-of-life care, while still having decision-making capacity. Many patients don’t have an advanced directive (AD), or documentation of these decisions. This planning improves the individual’s perception of quality of life, a good death, and autonomy over their healthcare. The discussion regarding ACP can take place in primary care at wellness visits for patients over 18 years old, while healthy and able to discuss their wishes with a trusted medical provider. Providers have tools to aid patients in completing AD; however, barriers include lack of knowledge, inexperience with the requirements of AD documentation, and lack of accountability. This project encouraged providers to engage in a continuing AD education resource provided by the Centers for Disease Control’s Health Aging Program at a Midwest family practice clinic. Questionnaires were given to the patients of the participating provider to evaluate their preexisting knowledge of ACP. If interested, more information was given to the patients by the provider. Out of the 53 patients surveyed in a 6-week time, 21% of the patients surveyed had an AD, and 54% elected for additional education regarding ACP.

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