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National advance care directive prevalence study

Research Priority: Optimising health and wellbeing
Researchers: Georgina Johnstone, Leanne Davey
Research partners: Austin Health, Advance Care Planning Australia
Study population: Residential aged care

Bolton Clarke participated in the 2018 National advance care directive (ACD) prevalence study led by Advance Care Planning Australia (based at Austin Health in Victoria). The study involved a health record audit to determine the prevalence, characteristics and accessibility of ACD and associated documents within residential aged care. We undertook the audit at four Bolton Clarke residential aged care communities. We found the overall prevalence of Bolton Clarke residents with ACDs was 65.5 per cent. Interestingly, this figure was almost double the average prevalence rates at other participating care homes across Australia.

Half of the ACDs of our participants were documents appointing a substitute decision-maker, which is to be expected given the prevalence of dementia in our residents. Results from this study provide inspiration for quality improvement and research activities and affords the opportunity for benchmarking in the future.