Advance Directives: Attitudes of Primary Care Providers
Strom, Patricia L.
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Advance directives are the expression of a patient's preferences regarding the use of life-sustaining treatments made while they still possess decision making capacity. Primary care providers in family or general practice settings were surveyed to assess their attitudes towards advance directives. The majority ofthe respondents expressed a positive attitude toward advance directives. Fifty three percent of the respondents estimated that between 0-10% oftheir patients had a written advance directive in their office medical record. The most commonly identified barriers to addressing advance directives in a primary care setting were: insufficient time during patient visits, lack of reimbursement for patient advance directive discussions, reluctance of the patient and/or family members to discuss advance directives, lack of education and materials for the provider and patient, and inadequate and complicated documentation forms.