Advance directive education during pulmonary rehabilitation

Chest. 1996 Feb;109(2):373-9. doi: 10.1378/chest.109.2.373.


We conducted a questionnaire survey of 346 pulmonary rehabilitation programs to determine the present utilization and potential value of these sites for promoting advance directive education for patients with chronic lung diseases. Responses were analyzed for all responding programs and for programs categorized by size. Eighty-two percent of the 218 responding programs discussed with patients prognostic information. Only 33% of programs asked patients if they had advance directives and 17% kept these documents on file. Thirty-three percent of programs provided some form of advance directive education, and 42% distributed directive educational material, usually through informal and unstructured methods. Seventy-seven percent of responders considered pulmonary rehabilitation an appropriate site for directive education, and 86% indicated willingness to incorporate directive education into their programs. Larger programs were more likely to present information about patient prognosis (p = 0.0003) and advance directives (p = 0.021). We conclude that most of the responding pulmonary rehabilitation programs do not educate patients about advance directives but are willing to do so if supplied with appropriate teaching materials. Rehabilitation programs may be valuable sites for educating patients with chronic disorders about advance directives and promoting an improved patient-physician dialogue about these issues.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Advance Directives*
  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Surveys and Questionnaires