End-of-Life, Advanced Directives, Incapacitated Patient, Living Will, Five Wishes


Purpose: There is a lack of discussion regarding end-of-life care planning which results in low advanced directive execution (AD) rates. This can lead to decision making by family, friends, and the health care team on behalf of patients whose end-of-life care wishes are unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an educational intervention in the work setting to increase end-of-life discussions and the execution of advanced directives. Methods: A descriptive design was used in an occupational workplace setting at a local bottling company after appropriate IRB approval was obtained. An educational intervention based on the Five Wishes document was presented in an occupational health setting covering all shifts and employment categories. A pre-program questionnaire measured a lack of knowledge and understanding of end-of-life planning and advanced directives. A post-program questionnaire measured the increase in knowledge and understanding of end-of-life planning and advanced directives. A focus group was conducted with audio recording to describe personal experiences. The quantitative analysis used statistical procedures to describe and synthesize data and content analysis was conducted on the focus group data. Results: A sample of 78 participants was used to gather the quantitative data. Of the total participants, an overwhelming majority were male with ethnic backgrounds evenly represented. Most of the participants either were married and either were drivers, salespeople, or warehouse workers. More participants indicated no religious affiliation than any other affiliation, and the majority of participants indicated that they had a high school diploma. When questioned about their 1) knowledge of advanced directives, 2) whether or not they would consider executing an advanced directive, 3) whether or not they were likely to discuss end-of-life care with other, 4) whether they would be comfortable having someone make end-of-life decisions on their behalf, and 5) whether or not they believed that advanced directives were important, the majority of participants indicated that they strongly agreed or agreed. However, none of the participants had executed an advanced directive. Only 10.3% of participants had ever discussed AD's with a healthcare provider. When the same participants were asked the same questions after the education portion of the study, data analysis of the pre- and post-program questionnaire mean scores, revealed a significant increase in scores on questions 1,2 and 3 (p > .05), and no significant increase on question 4 and 5 (p > .05). The implication of these findings suggest that an education intervention program in a workplace setting significantly increases end-of-life discussions and advanced directive execution rates. The Jones model of end-of-life education intervention and interpretation of the study are presented. Limitations of the study, as well as implications for nursing professionals and health care providers that will improve patient outcomes are presented. Discussion/Implication: The study shows that workplace education regarding Advanced Directives can lead to increase end-of-life discussions and increase advanced directive execution rates. Therefore, this education program at a worksite merits further research and may serve as a model program for other worksite settings.


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Graduation Date



Chase, Susan


Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)


College of Nursing



Degree Program

Nursing Practice








Release Date

August 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Nursing Commons