How should end-of-life Advance Care Planning discussions be conducted according to patients and informal carers?


What are we doing?

Advance care planning (ACP) is an internationally-recognised term to describe discussions between people, their families, and health care professionals about a person’s future preferences for care when they are unable to make decisions themselves. As part of our work around end-of-life research priorities, local stakeholders identified that further research on ACP was a key priority, so we are now investigating this further. Specifically, we are:

  • Conducting a literature review of patients’ and carers’ perspectives on ACP discussions.


Why is it important?

ACP can have positive effects on the quality of end-of-life. In the UK it is endorsed by a range of organisations including the Department of Health and Social Care, NICE, and the General Medical Council, and there is a body of guidance for professionals about the general principles of ACP. However, there is a lack of clarity about how patients and carers feel ACP discussions should be conducted.


How will we do it?

This systematic review will synthesise the existing research literature pertaining to patients’ and carers’ perspectives on ACP discussions. We aim to address the following broad topics arising from our priority-setting exercise: How are ACP discussions held with patients and carers, and how should they be held? Who do they feel should be initiating ACP conversations? When is the most appropriate time to have ACP discussions? Do they feel ACP discussions are valuable?


Downloadable Resources


More information

For more information please contact Michael Spence (Programme Manager).


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