Shared decision-making in advance care planning for persons with dementia in nursing homes: a cross-sectional study
Bart Goossens, Aline Sevenants, Anja Declercq, Chantal Van Audenhove
Background: Shared decision-making provides an approach to discuss advance care planning in a participative and informed manner, embodying the principles of person-centered care. A number of guided approaches to achieve shared decision-making already exist, such as the three-talk model. However, it is uncertain whether daily practice methods in nursing home wards for persons with dementia comply with the underpinnings of this model. It is also uncertain whether professionals consider shared
... sion-making to be important in this context, and whether they perceive themselves sufficiently competent to practice this approach frequently. Methods: The study has a cross-sectional design, with 65 wards (46 Belgian nursing homes) participating in the study. We compared nursing home professionals' and residents' perspectives on the level of shared decision-making during advance care planning conversations with ratings from external raters. Residents and professionals rated the level of shared decision-making by means of a questionnaire, which included the topic of the conversation. External raters assessed audio recordings of the conversations. Professionals filled in an additional self-report questionnaire on the importance of shared decision-making, their competence in practicing the approach, and with what frequency.Results: At ward level, professionals and residents rated the average achieved level of shared decision-making 71.53/100 (σ=16.09) and 81.11/100 (σ=19.18) respectively. Meanwhile, raters gave average scores of 26.97/100 (σ=10.45). Only 23.8% of residents referred to advance care planning as the topic of the conversation. Professionals considered shared decision-making to be important (x̄=4.48/5, σ=0.26). This result contrasted significantly with the frequency (x̄=3.48/5, σ=0.51) and competence (x̄=3.76/5, σ=0.27) with which these skills were practiced (P<0.001).Conclusions: Residents with dementia are grateful when involved in discussing their care, but find it difficult to report what is discussed during these conversations. Receiving more information about advance care planning could provide them with the knowledge needed to prepare for such a conversation. External raters observe a discrepancy between the three-talk model and daily practice methods. Training programs should focus on providing professionals with better knowledge of and skills for shared decision-making. They should also promote team-based collaboration to increase the level of person-centered care in nursing home wards for persons with dementia.