Patient preferences in geriatric wards, a survey of health care professionals' practice, experience and attitudes

Eur Geriatr Med. 2024 Feb;15(1):153-158. doi: 10.1007/s41999-023-00922-7. Epub 2024 Jan 29.


Purpose: We aimed to identify whether health care professionals (HCP) examine their patient and next-of-kin preferences, and to study whether medical decisions follow these preferences.

Method: A cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted with multidisciplinary HCP from 12 geriatric wards in the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority.

Results: Of the 289 HCPs responding (response rate 61%), mean age 37.8 years (SD 11.3), 235 (81.3%) women, 12.4 (SD 9.6) years of experience and 67 (23.2%) medical doctors, only half report clarifying patients' preferences. The majority reported that they did not inform, involve and treat in line with such preferences. However, 53% believe that HCP, patients and next-of-kin should make clinical decisions together.

Discussion: Our findings indicate a lack of engagement in conversation and inclusion of patient preferences when providing health interventions in geriatric wards. Measures for change of culture are needed.

Keywords: Advance care planning; Patient preferences; Person-centered; Shared decision-making.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Hospitals*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Preference*