Integrating Advance Care Planning Videos into Surgical Oncologic Care: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Rebecca A. Aslakson, Sarina R. Isenberg, Norah L. Crossnohere, Alison M. Conca-Cheng, Madeleine Moore, Akshay Bhamidipati, Silvia Mora, Judith Miller, Sarabdeep Singh, Sandra M. Swoboda, Timothy M. Pawlik, Matthew Weiss, Angelo Volandes, Thomas J. Smith, John F.P. Bridges, Debra L. Roter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Preoperative advance care planning (ACP) may benefit patients undergoing major surgery. Objective: To evaluate feasibility, safety, and early effectiveness of video-based ACP in a surgical population. Design: Randomized controlled trial with two study arms. Setting: Single, academic, inner-city tertiary care hospital. Subjects: Patients undergoing major cancer surgery were recruited from nine surgical clinics. Of 106 consecutive potential participants, 103 were eligible and 92 enrolled. Interventions: In the intervention arm, patients viewed an ACP video developed by patients, surgeons, palliative care clinicians, and other stakeholders. In the control arm, patients viewed an informational video about the hospital's surgical program. Measurements: Primary Outcomes - ACP content and patient-centeredness in patient-surgeon preoperative conversation. Secondary outcomes - patient Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) score; patient goals of care; patient and surgeon satisfaction; video helpfulness; and medical decision maker designation. Results: Ninety-two patients (target enrollment: 90) were enrolled. The ACP video was successfully integrated with no harm noted. Patient-centeredness was unchanged (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.06, confidence interval [0.87-1.3], p = 0.545), although there were more ACP discussions in the intervention arm (23% intervention vs. 10% control, p = 0.18). While slightly underpowered, study results did not signal that further enrollment would have yielded statistical significance. There were no differences in secondary outcomes other than the intervention video was more helpful (p = 0.007). Conclusions: The ACP video was successfully integrated into surgical care without harm and was thought to be helpful, although video content did not significantly change the ACP content or patient-surgeon communication. Future studies could increase the ACP dose through modifying video content and/or who presents ACP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-772
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • advance care planning
  • palliative care
  • patient-physician communication
  • preoperative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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