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Johns Hopkins Study Reveals Patient Preferences on End-Of-Life Discussions

12 December, 2021

The National Cancer Institute this month updated its PDQ on advance planning and end of life discussions to include details from a recent study of surgical and medical oncology inpatients. Their results showed that nearly half of those surveyed would rather have advance care planning discussions with their primary care providers.

Only about 7% of patients surveyed said they'd like to have advance care planning discussions with their surgeons, and only 5.5% said they'd like to have such conversations with medical oncologists.

Johns Hopkins researchers said long-term relationships and and "strong interpersonal skills" were cited as the reasons primary care providers were the first choice for these discussions.

Patients also said they preferred to have advance cancer planning and end-of-life conversations early on. More than 80% said they'd prefer the conversation before or at the time of cancer diagnosis, and that the conversations should be initiated by the healthcare provider.

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