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2008 Grants - Volandes
Using Video Images of Dementia in Advance Care Planning
Angelo Volandes, M.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital (The General Hospital Corp.)
2008 New Investigator Research Grant
Individuals with advanced dementia are no longer able to make decisions regarding their own care. Having realistic expectations about future health conditions is critical to planning in advance for dementia care.
Using videos to help in this advance-planning process has advantages over traditional approaches because they offer realistic images of a person's future health conditions. However, video is underused in this area.
Angelo Volandes, M.D., and colleagues will conduct a randomized trial of 80 people with early-stage dementia from a diverse background since minorities, who are already vulnerable in our health care system, are disproportionately affected by dementia. The researchers will show half the group videos depicting people with advanced dementia. The other half will be verbally told about the conditions of advanced dementia.
The researchers will compare the preferences for care between the two groups by looking at who opts for life-prolonging care versus comfort care. They will then follow up with the participants one month later by phone to see if their preferences changed.
The study will likely lead to larger, more comprehensive studies about using videos in advance planning for care. Ultimately it will impact the planning process for older people facing complex medical decisions.