Author(s): ElJawahri A, Podgurski LM, Eichler AF, Plotkin SR, Temel JS,
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Abstract PURPOSE: To determine whether the use of a goals-of-care video to supplement a verbal description can improve end-of-life decision making for patients with cancer. METHODS: Fifty participants with malignant glioma were randomly assigned to either a verbal narrative of goals-of-care options at the end of life (control), or a video after the same verbal narrative (intervention) in this randomized controlled trial. The video depicts three levels of medical care: life-prolonging care (cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR], ventilation), basic care (hospitalization, no CPR), and comfort care (symptom relief). The primary study outcome was participants' preferences for end-of-life care. The secondary outcome was participants' uncertainty regarding decision making (score range, 3 to 15; higher score indicating less uncertainty). Participants' comfort level with the video was also measured. RESULTS: Fifty participants were randomly assigned to either the verbal narrative (n = 27) or video (n = 23). After the verbal description, 25.9\% of participants preferred life-prolonging care, 51.9\% basic care, and 22.2\% comfort care. In the video arm, no participants preferred life-prolonging care, 4.4\% preferred basic care, 91.3\% preferred comfort care, and 4.4\% were uncertain (P < .0001). The mean uncertainty score was higher in the video group than in the verbal group (13.7 v 11.5, respectively; P < .002). In the intervention arm, 82.6\% of participants reported being very comfortable watching the video. CONCLUSION: Compared with participants who only heard a verbal description, participants who viewed a goals-of-care video were more likely to prefer comfort care and avoid CPR, and were more certain of their end-of-life decision making. Participants reported feeling comfortable watching the video.
This article was published in J Clin Oncol
and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access