Relationships among Perceptions of Dying Well, Attitudes toward Advance Directives, and Preferences for Advance Directives among Elderly Living Alone

Hanguk Hosupisu Wanhwa Uiryo Hakhoe Chi. 2020 Dec 1;23(4):241-251. doi: 10.14475/kjhpc.2020.23.4.241.


Purpose: This study investigated awareness of dying well, as well as attitudes and preferences toward advance directives (ADs), among elderly individuals who lived alone.

Methods: The participants were 173 elderly people living alone. Data were collected from July 2019 to September 2019 using questionnaires on perceptions of dying well, awareness of advance directives, and general characteristics.

Results: The majority of participants (68.2%) stated that they had never heard of advance directives. The information they requested to include in their advance directives mostly involved decisions on pain treatment, such as the use of analgesic drugs in the final stages of a terminal disease. Perceptions of dying well were statistically significantly different according to age and education.

Conclusion: This study discussed the attitudes and preferences of elderly living alone regarding advance directives to provide basic resources for the systematic and active use of advance directives.

Keywords: Advance directives; Aged; Death.