A randomized controlled trial of a cardiopulmonary resuscitation video in advance care planning for progressive pancreas and hepatobiliary cancer patients

J Palliat Med. 2013 Jun;16(6):623-31. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2012.0524. Epub 2013 Apr 22.


Background: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an important advance directive (AD) topic in patients with progressive cancer; however such discussions are challenging.

Objective: This study investigates whether video educational information about CPR engenders broader advance care planning (ACP) discourse.

Methods: Patients with progressive pancreas or hepatobiliary cancer were randomized to an educational CPR video or a similar CPR narrative. The primary end-point was the difference in ACP documentation one month posttest between arms. Secondary end-points included study impressions; pre- and post-intervention knowledge of and preferences for CPR and mechanical ventilation; and longitudinal patient outcomes.

Results: Fifty-six subjects were consented and analyzed. Rates of ACP documentation (either formal ADs or documented discussions) were 40% in the video arm (12/30) compared to 15% in the narrative arm (4/26), OR=3.6 [95% CI: 0.9-18.0], p=0.07. Post-intervention knowledge was higher in both arms. Posttest, preferences for CPR had changed in the video arm but not in the narrative arm. Preferences regarding mechanical ventilation did not change in either arm. The majority of subjects in both arms reported the information as helpful and comfortable to discuss, and they recommended it to others. More deaths occurred in the video arm compared to the narrative arm, and more subjects died in hospice settings in the video arm.

Conclusions: This pilot randomized trial addressing downstream ACP effects of video versus narrative decision tools demonstrated a trend towards more ACP documentation in video subjects. This trend, as well as other video effects, is the subject of ongoing study.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Advance Care Planning*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / pathology
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Video Recording