Exploring the knowledge, attitudes and needs of advance care planning in older Chinese Australians.

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Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

To identify factors that influence the engagement of Chinese Australians with advance care planning.

BACKGROUND

Despite the benefits of advance care planning, there is a low prevalence of advance care planning in the Chinese Australian community. Reasons for this are often cited as cultural considerations and taboos surrounding future medical planning and death; however, other logistical factors may also be important.

DESIGN

This qualitative study used a thematic analysis grounded theory approach to explore facilitators and barriers to engagement in advance care planning.

METHODS

Semistructured interviews were conducted in-language (Mandarin or Cantonese) exploring the views of a purposive sample of 30 community-dwelling older Chinese Australians within Victoria, Australia.

RESULTS

Three key themes were identified: knowledge of, attitudes towards and needs for undertaking advance care planning amongst the Chinese Australians. There was a low awareness of advance care planning amongst the participants and some confusion regarding the concept. Most participants reported positive attitudes towards advance care planning but acknowledged that others may be uncomfortable discussing death-related topics. Participants would want to know the true status of their health and plan ahead in consultation with family members to reduce the burden on the family and suffering for themselves. Language was identified as the largest barrier to overcome to increase advance care planning awareness. In-language materials and key support networks including GPs, family and Chinese community groups were identified as ideal forums for the promotion of advance care planning.

CONCLUSIONS

The participants of this study were open to conversations regarding future medical planning and end-of-life care, suggesting the low uptake of advance care planning amongst Chinese Australians is not culturally motivated but may be due a lack of knowledge relating to advance care planning.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE

The results highlight the need to provide access to appropriate in-language advance care planning resources and promotion of advance care planning across the Chinese community.

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