Patient experience of primary care and advance care planning: a multicentre cross-sectional study in Japan

Fam Pract. 2017 Apr 1;34(2):206-212. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmw126.


Background: Advance care planning (ACP) is becoming increasingly important in the primary care setting because of its positive impact on the end-of-life care.

Objective: We aimed to investigate the relationship between patient experience of primary care and ACP.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 28 primary care clinics in Japan. We assessed patient experience of primary care using a Japanese version of Primary Care Assessment Tool (JPCAT), which comprises six domains: first contact, longitudinality, coordination, comprehensiveness (services available), comprehensiveness (services provided) and community orientation. The primary outcome measures were ACP discussion between patients and primary care providers and completion of advance directives (AD). We used a generalized linear mixed model to adjust clustering within clinics and individual covariates.

Results: Data were analysed for 535 primary care patients. After adjustment for patients' sociodemographic and health characteristics, the JPCAT total score was found to be significantly associated with ACP discussion [odds ratio (OR) per 1 SD increase = 4.33; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.53-7.47] but not with completion of AD (OR per 1 SD increase = 1.42; 95% CI, 0.94-2.12). All domains of JPCAT, which represent attributes of primary care, had positive associations with ACP discussion. First contact and comprehensiveness (services provided) domain scores were significantly associated with completion of AD.

Conclusions: We found that better patient experience of primary care was strongly associated with ACP discussion. Our findings reinforce the significance of patient experience in primary care as part of quality end-of-life care.

Keywords: Advance care planning; advance directives; patient-centred care; patient experience.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Advance Care Planning / statistics & numerical data*
  • Advance Directives / psychology
  • Aged
  • Communication
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires