Factors Influencing Hospital Patients’ Preferences in the Utilization of Life-Sustaining Treatments

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Janet A. Droge, Nathan Billig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ninety-seven elderly hospitalized patients were asked about their preferences for several treatments under three hypothetical levels of future cognitive functioning: Intact, confused, and unconscious. Levels of cognitive functioning and depression were also assessed. Sixty-six percent of the patients were more likely to want treatment if they expected to be cognitively intact than when a future condition involved impaired cognition; 36% did not want any treatment in at least 75% of the conditions; and 16% wanted treatment in at least 75% of the conditions studied. A minority (12%) did not show any pattern in their preferences. The absence of a definite pattern was related to lower levels of education and to higher levels of depressive symptoms. Patients self-reported their preferences for treatments being influenced most by their personal values, religion, and by experiences with illnesses of others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalThe Gerontologist
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Advance directives
  • Medical decision making
  • Quality of life

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