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Original Research |

Predicting Changes in Preferences for Life-Sustaining Treatment Among Patients With Advanced Chronic Organ FailureChanges in Life-Sustaining Treatment Preferences

Daisy J. A. Janssen, MD; Martijn A. Spruit, PhD; Jos M. G. A. Schols, MD, PhD; Bianca Cox, MSc; Tim S. Nawrot, PhD; J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH, FCCP; Emiel F. M. Wouters, MD, PhD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Program Development Centre (Drs Janssen, Spruit, and Wouters), CIRO+, Centre of Expertise for Chronic Organ Failure; and Proteion Thuis (Dr Janssen), Horn, The Netherlands; CAPHRI (Dr Janssen), the Department of General Practice, Nursing Home Medicine, Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences/CAPHRI (Dr Schols), and the Department of Respiratory Medicine (Dr Wouters), Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands; the Centre for Environmental Sciences (Ms Cox and Dr Nawrot), Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium; and the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine (Dr Curtis), Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA.

Correspondence to: Daisy J. A. Janssen, MD, Program Development Centre, CIRO+, Centre of Expertise for Chronic Organ Failure, Hornerheide 1, 6085 NM Horn, The Netherlands; e-mail: daisyjanssen@ciro-horn.nl


Part of the content of this article was presented in abstract form during the conference of the European Respiratory Society, September 26, 2011, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Funding/Support: This project was supported by Proteion Thuis; CIRO+, Centre of Expertise for Chronic Organ Failure; the Netherlands Asthma Foundation [Grant 3.4.06.082]; the Weijerhorst Foundation; and Stichting Wetenschapsbevordering Verpleeghuiszorg.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2012 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2012;141(5):1251-1259. doi:10.1378/chest.11-1472
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Background:  For physicians discussing advance care planning with patients with life-limiting illness, it is important to understand the stability of the patients’ preferences for life-sustaining treatments and the factors that predict a change in preferences. Our objectives were to investigate 1-year stability of preferences regarding CPR and mechanical ventilation (MV) for outpatients with advanced COPD, chronic heart failure (CHF), or chronic renal failure (CRF) and to identify predictors of changes in preferences.

Methods:  In this study, 265 clinically stable outpatients with advanced COPD, CHF, or CRF were visited at baseline and every 4 months for 1 year to assess preferences regarding CPR and MV in their current health status. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine the association between change in life-sustaining treatment preferences and several potential predictors, including changes in comorbidities, hospital admissions, generic health status, care dependency, mobility, and symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Results:  The 1-year follow-up period was completed by 77.7% of the patients. Preferences regarding CPR or MV changed in 38.3% of the patients during the follow-up period. Changes over time in generic health status, mobility, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and marital status were associated with changes in life-sustaining treatment preferences.

Conclusions:  More than one-third of outpatients with advanced COPD, CHF, or CRF change their preferences regarding CPR and/or MV at least once during 1 year. Regular reevaluation of advance care planning is necessary, in particular when patients experience a change in health status, mobility, symptoms of anxiety or depression, or marital status.

Trial registry:  Netherlands National Trial Register; No.: NTR 1552; URL: http://www.trialregister.nl

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