EAPC white paper on advance care planning . . . the sequel

Judith Rietjens (Associate Professor) and Ida Korfage (Assistant Professor) both work in the department of Public Health of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Together, they chaired the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Task Force on Advance Care Planning. In this blog post, they give an update about developments concerning their white paper published in The Lancet Oncology.   

Judith Rietjens

Ida Korfage

Last year, the EAPC Task Force on Advance Care Planning published its white paper in The Lancet Oncology – read the summary here. Aiming at consensus about the concept of advance care planning (ACP), we developed a definition of ACP (see Box) and 41 recommendations for its use. We described the consensus process and the recommendations in our earlier EAPC blog post.

In this post, we want to inform you about new developments.

Box: Consensus definition of advance care planning (extended version)

Advance care planning enables individuals who have decisional capacity to identify their values, to reflect upon the meanings and consequences of serious illness scenarios, to define goals and preferences for future medical treatment and care, and to discuss these with family and healthcare providers. ACP addresses individuals’ concerns across the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual domains. It encourages individuals to identify a personal representative and to record and regularly review any preferences, so that their preferences can be taken into account should they at some point be unable to make their own decisions.

Additional perspectives: replication, translation, and dissemination

To improve dissemination of our definition and recommendations, we have presented the white paper at various conferences around the world. For instance, we were invited to Madrid, Riccione, Kobe and Munich to discuss our findings at major palliative care conferences. Dubai is yet to come . . .

Also, we are very keen to translate our work into local languages and publish in national palliative care journals. Translated versions of the white paper have been published in a Dutch and in an Italian medical journal (see ‘Links and resources’ below), and a Spanish translation will be published very soon. If there is anyone else interested in translating the white paper, we warmly welcome these initiatives!

In our white paper we aimed at providing a general framework for ACP while acknowledging that needs and preferences for ACP in practice will depend on local legal and cultural circumstances, and may differ according to the type of disease. Because most of our panel members originated from Western countries (predominantly North America, Europe, and Australia), we felt that additional work was needed to make the ACP framework feasible in non-western regions, such as Asia. We were delighted that colleagues from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, with help from an Indonesian colleague, took an interest in replication of the full Delphi procedure in Eastern Asia. This process will result in an adapted definition of ACP and recommendations for its use in these regions, including translated versions into Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese.

Finally, at the 7th international Advance Care Planning conference (ACP-I 2019) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in March 2019, further intercultural perspectives on ACP will be shared as well as lessons about how to translate ACP science into practice. As scientific coordinators, we warmly invite you to attend and present at this conference. Abstracts can be submitted until the 18th of November 2018, so grab this opportunity to learn and share knowledge about ACP. More information can be found at www.acpi2019.com.

Links and resources

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