Background Communication about end of life care may involve difficult
conversations for patients, family members and health
professionals. However, a lack of understanding of a
person’s wishes about their future care may result in a loss
of dignity for the person, and additional distress for their
family members and health professionals and burden to the
Objective This article discusses the barriers to advance care planning
and provides some guidance for the general practitioner
in undertaking advance care planning with patients and
their families. Tips for initiating end of life discussions with
patients and families utilising the ‘PREPARED’ acronym,
and ensuring appropriate care delivery are included.
Discussion Involving patients and their family members in advance
care planning may be challenging and time consuming for
GPs. However, there are a number of resources to support
this activity in relation to training, communication support
and Medicare item funding.
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