Monday, January 10, 2011

End-of-Life Planning Common in Long-Term Care

By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Advance directives are common among long-term care residents, particularly those discharged from hospice, a CDC report found.

There was an advance directive on record for 28% of home healthcare patients, 65% of those at nursing homes, and 88% of hospice patients, according to an analysis of data from the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey and the 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey.

These rates compare very favorably with the 5% to 15% rate among adults overall in the U.S., Adrienne L. Jones, and colleagues at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md., noted in the report.

But, they wrote, there's still room for improvement.

The most common forms of advance directives noted in the surveys were living wills and do-not-resuscitate orders.

The likelihood of having any type of advance directive appeared to differ by age and race or ethnicity.

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