Rationale: Previous research has shown that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) desire conversations about end-of-life wishes. However, most clinicians do not initiate these discussions. We explored whether educating patients via Web conferencing (webinar) would equip them with knowledge and skills to engage in conversations about end-of-life care.
Results: Prewebinar, 6 of the 7 patients had completed advanced care planning forms but only half had shared these with their clinicians. Most patients felt confident about discussing end-of-life preferences. At 3 months, all participants had taken further action on end-of-life planning. Five felt the webinar was an acceptable option if unable to participate in person. All patients voiced that adding a video stream would have promoted interaction in the context of these sensitive conversations.
Conclusions: This pilot project demonstrated that a webinar to educate patients on end-of-life communication was acceptable for the majority of patients. Improvements in audio and video bandwidth may facilitate more interaction among virtual participants. This may be particularly useful for patient education on sensitive topics.