Perceptions of physicians and nurses concerning advanced care planning for patients with heart failure in Japan

Yuri Tokunaga-Nakawatase, Ryota Ochiai, Makiko Sanjo, Miyuki Tsuchihashi-Makaya, Mitsunori Miyashita, Toshiyuki Ishikawa, Setsuko Watabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The importance of advance care planning (ACP) has been recognized in the palliative care of patients with heart failure. It is necessary for dissemination of ACP to characterize the perceptions of physicians and nurses towards ACP and to promote mutual understanding. The aim of this study is to investigate the perceptions of physicians and nurses concerning ACP for patients with heart failure. Methods: We conducted a self-administered questionnaire survey with physicians and nurses who belonged to the 427 certified institutions for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and/or cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in Japan. The self-administered questionnaire was originally designed based on the guidelines on palliative care or ACP and previous studies on the barriers of ACP. We asked the participants the recognition about condition/timing to implement ACP, Content of care to be implemented in ACP, and barriers against implementing ACP. A Mann-Whitney U test was performed and r value was calculated an effect size (ES) in order to evaluate the characteristic perceptions among physicians and nurses. Results: Valid responses were obtained from 163 physicians (38.2%) and 208 nurses (48.7%). Regarding the condition/timing, nurses tended to recognize that ACP should be implemented from earlier clinical stages than physicians. Regarding the contents of ACP, both physicians and nurses placed emphasis in assessing the patient’s perception of disease progression. The biggest difference was found in the item “Ask patient about what has been important in life so far”; 78.6% of physicians but 94.2% of nurses chose “it must/should be implemented” (Cohen’s r=0.31). Regarding the barriers, both physicians and nurses recognized the difficulty in prognosis prediction. The biggest differences were found in the items “Medical staff does not know how to implement ACP for patients and their families” (45.6% of physicians and 70.4% of nurses chose “strongly agree/agree”, r=0.27), and “There is disagreement regarding care goals among team members of different professions” (18.5% in physicians and 43.3% in nurses, r=0.27). Conclusions: It is suggested that discussions and further studies are necessary concerning the condition/ timing of implementing ACP from early stages, specific manuals/protocols and recommendation on role-sharing within a multidisciplinary team.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1718-1731
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of palliative medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 9


  • Advance care planning (ACP)
  • Heart failure (HF)
  • Nurses
  • Perception
  • Physicians


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