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The Importance of Intergenerational Communication in Advance Care Planning: Generational Relationships among Perceptions and Beliefs

Journal title
Journal of health communication
Publication year
2017
Author(s)
Freytag, J.; Rauscher, E. A.
Pages
488-496
Volume
22
Number
6

This study explores triadic intergenerational perceptions of family members’ beliefs and behaviors that often impact an individual’s willingness to engage in advance care planning. Using data from 189 triads of young adults, their parents, and their grandparents, we examined generational relationships among individuals’ openness about death, death anxiety, knowledge of surrogate decision-making, and advance care planning self-efficacy. Results of this study found significant relationships between grandparents and parents, as well as between parents and children for all variables except self-efficacy. Additionally, results of this study found indirect relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren for three variables. These findings underscore the need to treat advance care planning as a family communication issue. Implications for how advance care planning should be approached in conversations with healthcare providers and within the family are discussed.

Research abstracts