Advance directives: the experience of health care professionals across the continuum of care

Soc Work Health Care. 1999;28(3):39-54. doi: 10.1300/J010v28n03_03.


This study explored the perceptions of health care providers across the continuum of care as to how effective advance directive arrangements were in assuring compliance with the patients' wishes, as well as their overall satisfaction levels with the process. The health care providers who responded to the survey indicated high levels of overall satisfaction with advance directives, despite low patient completion rates and, most significantly, low confidence levels that surrogate decision making accurately reflected the patient's wishes. A secondary analysis compared the perceptions of health care providers with consumers' reasons for failing to complete advance directives. The need for further education was perceived as a primary need by the health care professionals but not by the consumers. Recommendations for policy initiatives and further research are then presented.

MeSH terms

  • Advance Directives* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration*
  • Decision Making
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Michigan
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires