First Advisor

Claywell, Lora


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

49 pages


In the United States, it is common for patients to receive prolonged, aggressive medical care at the end of life (Levi & Green, 2010). This level of medical care may or may not be in alignment with patients’ wishes. Advance directives developed as a response to this situation. Despite the widespread availability of advance directives and the impetus for health care facilities to discuss advance directives with patients, most Americans do not have a completed advance directive. The average completion rate for advance directives in all populations in the United States is about 25% (Silveira, Witala, & Piette, 2014). This study supports earlier work suggesting that patient education to increase completion of advance directives should include a discussion with a provider along with written education. The study demonstrated a significant increase in advance directive completion for patients who received this educational intervention compared to patients who did not. Limitations of this project include a small sample of cardiology patients that may not be representative of the general population. The study also did not address an assessment of patients’ knowledge about advance directives resulting from the intervention. The greatest implication of this study is that education for patients that includes a discussion with a provider as well as written information, if expanded throughout a hospital system, has the potential to greatly increase the completion of advance directives.

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.