Context: Patients' end-of-life care outcomes often do not reflect their preferences. Ninety-two percent of West Virginians prefer to die outside the hospital, yet only 58.8% do.
Objectives: To compare out-of-hospital death (OHD) between those with completed advance directive (AD) and Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) forms.
Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of 2027 West Virginians who submitted AD and/or POST forms to the West Virginia e-Directive Registry and died between October 1, 2010 and December 31, 2013. A multivariable logistic regression model examined the relationship between OHD by form type while adjusting for age and enrollment in hospice.
Results: Patients who completed an AD were significantly less likely to have an OHD (56.9%) than those who completed a POST form with comfort measures orders or a POST form with limited/full intervention orders (88.4% and 75.9%, respectively, P < 0.001). The odds of OHD were significantly higher for patients with POST forms with comfort measures orders than for those with ADs (OR 4.239, P < 0.001).
Conclusion: A prospective study is needed to validate that a statewide POST program and registry provide a more effective way than ADs to express, document, and honor patients' preferences for an OHD.
Keywords: Advance care planning; POLST; advance directives; electronic registry; end of life; site of death.
Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.