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The Gerontologist 40:213-217 (2000)
© 2000 The Gerontological Society of America

Implementation of Advance Directives Among Community-Dwelling Veterans

David William Molloy, MRCP1, FRCP(c)a, Rosalie Russob, David Pedlar, PhDc and Michel Bédard, MScd

a Geriatric Research Group, Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
b Department of Medicine, Geriatric Research Group, and Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
c Veteran Affairs Canada, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
d St. Joseph's Health Care System Research Network, St. Mary's General Hospital, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence: David William Molloy, MRCP1, FRCP(c), Geriatric Research Group, Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation, Henderson Site, 711 Concession St., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8V IC3. E-mail: molloy{at}

Decision Editor: Vernon L. Greene, PhD

To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing a "Let Me Decide" advance directive education program among veterans living in the community, the authors studied 150 veterans in south central Ontario. Thirty-four veterans had preexisting Powers of Attorney and were removed from the analysis, leaving a total sample of 116. Two methods of systematically implementing a directive program were evaluated after the intervention period and 6 months later. Eighty-two (71%) of the 116 veterans expressed interest in receiving detailed information about the program, and 67 (82%) of the 82 interested veterans were educated. Forty-two (63%) of the 67 educated veterans completed directives. Of the 116 interested veterans, 42 (36%) completed directives. Veterans who were educated about directives were surveyed at follow-up, and 37 of 38 (97%) respondents reported that the education process was beneficial and should be offered to other veterans. This response pattern was consistent among those who completed and those who did not complete directives.

Key Words: Health care • Advance decision-making • Community elders • Veterans Affairs Canada • Service provider

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All GSA journals Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Copyright © 2000 by The Gerontological Society of America.