The Trial of Ascertaining Individual Preferences for Loved Ones' Role in End-of-Life Decisions (TAILORED) Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Surrogate Decision Making

Daniel P. Sulmasy, Mark T Hughes, Gayane Yenokyan, Joan Kub, Peter Browne Terry, Alan B. Astrow, Julie A. Johnson, Grace Ho, Marie T Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context: Patients with terminal illnesses often require surrogate decision makers. Prior research has demonstrated high surrogate stress, and that despite standards promoting substituted judgment, most patients do not want their surrogates to make pure substituted judgments for them. It is not known how best to help loved ones fulfill the surrogate role. Objectives: To test the effectiveness of an intervention to help surrogate decision makers. Methods: One hundred sixty-six patients (41% with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 59% with gastrointestinal cancers) and their surrogates at two university medical centers were randomized to an intensive nurse-directed discussion of the end-of-life decision control preferences of the patient (TAILORED) or a discussion of nutrition (CONTROL); 163 completed baseline interviews and underwent the intervention. Results: Twelve patients died during follow-up and 137 dyads completed the study. Post-intervention, using all available data, TAILORED patients and surrogates became more likely to endorse mutual surrogate decision making, that is, a balance of their own wishes and what the surrogate thinks best (adjusted odds compared with baseline for patients = 1.78, P = 0.04; adjusted odds for surrogates = 2.05, P = 0.03). CONTROL patients became 40% less likely to endorse mutual surrogate decision making (P = 0.08), and CONTROL surrogates did not change significantly from baseline (adjusted odds = 1.44, P = 0.28). Stress levels decreased for TAILORED surrogates (impact of events scale = 23.1 ± 14.6 baseline, 20.8 ± 15.3 f/u, P = 0.046), but not for CONTROL (P = 0.85), and post-intervention stress was lower for TAILORED than CONTROL (P = 0.04). Surrogates' confidence was uniformly high at baseline and did not change. Caregiver burden (Zarit) increased from 12.5 ± 6.5 to 14.7 ± 8.1 for TAILORED (P < 0.01), while not changing for CONTROL, yet satisfaction with involvement in decision making was higher at follow-up for TAILORED than for CONTROL (71% vs. 52%, P = 0.03). Conclusion: TAILORED patients and surrogates who completed the study adopted a more mutual decision-making style, balancing their own wishes with what the surrogate thinks would be best for them. Surrogates reported less stress and more satisfaction. Confidence was high at baseline and did not change. There was a modest increase in caregiver burden. These findings suggest that interventions like TAILORED might positively impact surrogate decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

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Decision Making
Randomized Controlled Trials
Caregivers
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Patient Preference
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Nurses
Interviews
Research

Keywords

  • Decision-making
  • End-of-life care
  • Ethics
  • Surrogates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Cite this

@article{551dab7c0f95453489203633befb0f42,
title = "The Trial of Ascertaining Individual Preferences for Loved Ones' Role in End-of-Life Decisions (TAILORED) Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Surrogate Decision Making",
abstract = "Context: Patients with terminal illnesses often require surrogate decision makers. Prior research has demonstrated high surrogate stress, and that despite standards promoting substituted judgment, most patients do not want their surrogates to make pure substituted judgments for them. It is not known how best to help loved ones fulfill the surrogate role. Objectives: To test the effectiveness of an intervention to help surrogate decision makers. Methods: One hundred sixty-six patients (41{\%} with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 59{\%} with gastrointestinal cancers) and their surrogates at two university medical centers were randomized to an intensive nurse-directed discussion of the end-of-life decision control preferences of the patient (TAILORED) or a discussion of nutrition (CONTROL); 163 completed baseline interviews and underwent the intervention. Results: Twelve patients died during follow-up and 137 dyads completed the study. Post-intervention, using all available data, TAILORED patients and surrogates became more likely to endorse mutual surrogate decision making, that is, a balance of their own wishes and what the surrogate thinks best (adjusted odds compared with baseline for patients = 1.78, P = 0.04; adjusted odds for surrogates = 2.05, P = 0.03). CONTROL patients became 40{\%} less likely to endorse mutual surrogate decision making (P = 0.08), and CONTROL surrogates did not change significantly from baseline (adjusted odds = 1.44, P = 0.28). Stress levels decreased for TAILORED surrogates (impact of events scale = 23.1 ± 14.6 baseline, 20.8 ± 15.3 f/u, P = 0.046), but not for CONTROL (P = 0.85), and post-intervention stress was lower for TAILORED than CONTROL (P = 0.04). Surrogates' confidence was uniformly high at baseline and did not change. Caregiver burden (Zarit) increased from 12.5 ± 6.5 to 14.7 ± 8.1 for TAILORED (P < 0.01), while not changing for CONTROL, yet satisfaction with involvement in decision making was higher at follow-up for TAILORED than for CONTROL (71{\%} vs. 52{\%}, P = 0.03). Conclusion: TAILORED patients and surrogates who completed the study adopted a more mutual decision-making style, balancing their own wishes with what the surrogate thinks would be best for them. Surrogates reported less stress and more satisfaction. Confidence was high at baseline and did not change. There was a modest increase in caregiver burden. These findings suggest that interventions like TAILORED might positively impact surrogate decision making.",
keywords = "Decision-making, End-of-life care, Ethics, Surrogates",
author = "Sulmasy, {Daniel P.} and Hughes, {Mark T} and Gayane Yenokyan and Joan Kub and Terry, {Peter Browne} and Astrow, {Alan B.} and Johnson, {Julie A.} and Grace Ho and Nolan, {Marie T}",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.07.004",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Pain and Symptom Management",
issn = "0885-3924",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Trial of Ascertaining Individual Preferences for Loved Ones' Role in End-of-Life Decisions (TAILORED) Study

T2 - A Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Surrogate Decision Making

AU - Sulmasy, Daniel P.

AU - Hughes, Mark T

AU - Yenokyan, Gayane

AU - Kub, Joan

AU - Terry, Peter Browne

AU - Astrow, Alan B.

AU - Johnson, Julie A.

AU - Ho, Grace

AU - Nolan, Marie T

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Context: Patients with terminal illnesses often require surrogate decision makers. Prior research has demonstrated high surrogate stress, and that despite standards promoting substituted judgment, most patients do not want their surrogates to make pure substituted judgments for them. It is not known how best to help loved ones fulfill the surrogate role. Objectives: To test the effectiveness of an intervention to help surrogate decision makers. Methods: One hundred sixty-six patients (41% with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 59% with gastrointestinal cancers) and their surrogates at two university medical centers were randomized to an intensive nurse-directed discussion of the end-of-life decision control preferences of the patient (TAILORED) or a discussion of nutrition (CONTROL); 163 completed baseline interviews and underwent the intervention. Results: Twelve patients died during follow-up and 137 dyads completed the study. Post-intervention, using all available data, TAILORED patients and surrogates became more likely to endorse mutual surrogate decision making, that is, a balance of their own wishes and what the surrogate thinks best (adjusted odds compared with baseline for patients = 1.78, P = 0.04; adjusted odds for surrogates = 2.05, P = 0.03). CONTROL patients became 40% less likely to endorse mutual surrogate decision making (P = 0.08), and CONTROL surrogates did not change significantly from baseline (adjusted odds = 1.44, P = 0.28). Stress levels decreased for TAILORED surrogates (impact of events scale = 23.1 ± 14.6 baseline, 20.8 ± 15.3 f/u, P = 0.046), but not for CONTROL (P = 0.85), and post-intervention stress was lower for TAILORED than CONTROL (P = 0.04). Surrogates' confidence was uniformly high at baseline and did not change. Caregiver burden (Zarit) increased from 12.5 ± 6.5 to 14.7 ± 8.1 for TAILORED (P < 0.01), while not changing for CONTROL, yet satisfaction with involvement in decision making was higher at follow-up for TAILORED than for CONTROL (71% vs. 52%, P = 0.03). Conclusion: TAILORED patients and surrogates who completed the study adopted a more mutual decision-making style, balancing their own wishes with what the surrogate thinks would be best for them. Surrogates reported less stress and more satisfaction. Confidence was high at baseline and did not change. There was a modest increase in caregiver burden. These findings suggest that interventions like TAILORED might positively impact surrogate decision making.

AB - Context: Patients with terminal illnesses often require surrogate decision makers. Prior research has demonstrated high surrogate stress, and that despite standards promoting substituted judgment, most patients do not want their surrogates to make pure substituted judgments for them. It is not known how best to help loved ones fulfill the surrogate role. Objectives: To test the effectiveness of an intervention to help surrogate decision makers. Methods: One hundred sixty-six patients (41% with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and 59% with gastrointestinal cancers) and their surrogates at two university medical centers were randomized to an intensive nurse-directed discussion of the end-of-life decision control preferences of the patient (TAILORED) or a discussion of nutrition (CONTROL); 163 completed baseline interviews and underwent the intervention. Results: Twelve patients died during follow-up and 137 dyads completed the study. Post-intervention, using all available data, TAILORED patients and surrogates became more likely to endorse mutual surrogate decision making, that is, a balance of their own wishes and what the surrogate thinks best (adjusted odds compared with baseline for patients = 1.78, P = 0.04; adjusted odds for surrogates = 2.05, P = 0.03). CONTROL patients became 40% less likely to endorse mutual surrogate decision making (P = 0.08), and CONTROL surrogates did not change significantly from baseline (adjusted odds = 1.44, P = 0.28). Stress levels decreased for TAILORED surrogates (impact of events scale = 23.1 ± 14.6 baseline, 20.8 ± 15.3 f/u, P = 0.046), but not for CONTROL (P = 0.85), and post-intervention stress was lower for TAILORED than CONTROL (P = 0.04). Surrogates' confidence was uniformly high at baseline and did not change. Caregiver burden (Zarit) increased from 12.5 ± 6.5 to 14.7 ± 8.1 for TAILORED (P < 0.01), while not changing for CONTROL, yet satisfaction with involvement in decision making was higher at follow-up for TAILORED than for CONTROL (71% vs. 52%, P = 0.03). Conclusion: TAILORED patients and surrogates who completed the study adopted a more mutual decision-making style, balancing their own wishes with what the surrogate thinks would be best for them. Surrogates reported less stress and more satisfaction. Confidence was high at baseline and did not change. There was a modest increase in caregiver burden. These findings suggest that interventions like TAILORED might positively impact surrogate decision making.

KW - Decision-making

KW - End-of-life care

KW - Ethics

KW - Surrogates

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U2 - 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.07.004

DO - 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.07.004

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