Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate Korean attitudes toward advance directives (ADs) among cancer patients, family caregivers, oncologists, and the general public. Methods: A multicenter survey study explored the attitudes of participants to ADs, and hospice-palliative care (HPC) was conducted. A total of 1,242 cancer patients, 1,289 family caregivers, 303 oncologists, and 1,006 members of the general public participated in the survey. Results: The majority of patients, family caregivers, oncologists, and general public agreed with the necessity of ADs. However, oncologists regard "when became terminal status" as an optimal timing for completion of ADs (52.2 %), while other groups regard earlier periods as it. More than 95 % oncologist answered that cardiopulmonary resuscitation and mechanical ventilator are necessity items for ADs form, while around 70 % of other groups answered so. Multivariate analysis revealed that several factors including agreement with terminal disclosures and a positive attitude toward HPC were independently associated with necessity of ADs. Conclusions: We found that attitudes toward ADs among cancer patients, family caregivers, oncologists, and the general public were significantly different. Our study also suggests that favorable attitudes toward comfort end-of-life care and HPC are keys that influence the perceived need for ADs.
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Acknowledgments This work was supported by the 2008 Korean National Cancer Control Program by the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, Korea, and partially by grant no. 0710730-3 from the National Cancer Center, Korea.
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