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IUPUI Study Will Examine Advance Medical Directives

IUPUI will take a first-of-its-kind look at whether living wills adequately reflect patients' wishes.

 

IU nursing professor Susan Hickman is leading a four-year study of the advance directives completed by nursing home patients or their health care representatives. She says it's unclear how often those directives are updated. In some cases, a change in a patient's medical condition or other circumstances might warrant a revision, but patients may either not think about returning to it or be reluctant to revisit a traumatic conversation.

 

Researchers will interview more than 300 patients and representatives to assess whether advance directives adequately reflect patients' wishes, what factors influence their willingness to update the documents, and how the process could be improved.

 

The project is funded by a $2.2 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research.

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