Determinants of Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders in Palliative Home Care

TitleDeterminants of Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders in Palliative Home Care
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBrink P, Smith TFrise, Kitson M
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Accession NumberWOS:000254651600018

ABSTRACT Overview: Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders allow home care clients to communicate their own wishes over medical treatment decisions, helping to preserve their dignity and autonomy. To date, little is known about DNR orders in palliative home care. Basic research to identify rates of completion and determinants of DNR orders has yet to be examined in palliative home care. Purpose: The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine who in palliative home care has a DNR order as part of their advance directive. Methods: Information on health was collected using the interRAI instrument for palliative care (interRAI PC). The sample included 470 home care clients from one community care access centre in Ontario. Results: This study indicated that a preference to die at home (odds ratio [OR]: 8.29, confidence interval [CI]: 4.55-15.11); close proximity to death (OR: 0.99, CI: 0.99-1.00); daily incontinence (OR: 2.74, CI: 1.05-7.16); and sleep problems (OR: 1.85, CI: 1.02-3.37) are associated with DNR orders. In addition, clients who are more accepting of their situation are 5.67 times (CI: 1.67-19.27) more likely to have a DNR in place. Conclusion: This study represents an important first step to identifying issues related to DNR orders. In addition to proximity to death, incontinence, and sleep problems, acceptance of one's own situation and a preference to die at home are important determinants of DNR completion. The results imply that these discussions might often depend not only on the health of the clients but also on the clients' acceptance of their current situation and where they wish to die.


Short TitleJournal of palliative medicine