Advance Care Planning Education Sessions During Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Ireland

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This study aimed to investigate the practice of advance care planning (ACP) education within pulmonary rehabilitation programs (PRPs) in Ireland.


All 27 PRPs in the Republic of Ireland were surveyed between May and September 2015, eliciting detailed quantitative and qualitative information about ACP education delivery. Data were analyzed using SPSS statistical software and content analysis.


Twenty-two PRPs (82%) took part in the survey, with 86% (n = 19) of these being delivered in a hospital setting. Forty-five percent (n = 10) included ACP education of at least 20-min duration (n = 5) or as part of another session (n = 5). ACP topics discussed differed significantly across PRP sites. Sessions were delivered by respiratory nurses, physiotherapists, physicians, or palliative care physicians. Of the 12 sites currently not providing ACP education, almost half (n = 5) indicated a willingness to include this in the near future. Respondents identified enablers and barriers to ACP education, as well as staff education and service delivery gaps.


Results demonstrate an overwhelmingly positive attitude toward ACP education. There is a need for ACP-specific education for all staff members involved in PRPs. Practical guidance on how to deliver this patient education component needs to be developed.

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