To understand how health-care providers’ (HCPs) religious preferences influence their willingness to undertake advance care planning (ACP) with patients and their acceptance of other HCP’s involvement.
Online anonymous survey distributed to HCPs in hospital, ambulatory offices, and hospice settings in Dayton, Ohio. We evaluated the associations of HCP religion with their personal ACP, willingness to facilitate ACP, and acceptance of other HCPs’ ACP participation.
704 respondents: nurses (66.2%), physicians (18.8%), other HCPs (15.0%), white (88.9%), and primarily Catholic (23.3%) or Protestant (32.0%). “No religion” was marked by 13.9%. Respondents were favorable to ACP with patients. Religious respondents were more likely to have a living will (P = .035) and health-care power of attorney (P = .007) and more accepting of clergy as ACP decision coaches (P = .030). HCP’s religion was not associated with willingness to facilitate ACP discussions. There were minor differences between Catholics and Protestants.
Personal religious preference is associated with HCP’s own ACP but had little relationship with their willingness to facilitate ACP conversations with patients or acceptance of other professional types of HCPs involvement in ACP conversations. Regardless of religious affiliation, HCPs have interest in undertaking ACP and endorse other HCPs ACP involvement. As results of this study suggest that personal religious affiliation is not a barrier for HCPs engaging in ACP with patients, attempts to overcome barriers to increasing ACP should be directed to other factors.
Bowman, M. A., St. Cyr, S., & Stolfi, A. (2018). Health Care Provider Personal Religious Preferences and Their Perspective on Advance Care Planning with Patients. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.