[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 22, 1994

Increasing Completion of Advance Directives

Author Affiliations

University of Michigan Medical Center Ann Arbor
St Joseph Family Health Center Joliet, Ill

JAMA. 1994;271(24):1907. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510480031024

To the Editor.  —We read with great interest the recent article by Rubin et al1 regarding a method of enhancing patient consent to the durable power of attorney form. We agree that using educational pamphlets may be a step in the right direction in helping patients better understand these decisions. We also concur that written pamphlets are not the sole means of conveying such information on advance directives. Therefore, we recently conducted a pilot study on the living will that may be of interest to the authors in which three educational modalities were used.We randomly enrolled a total of 69 family practice adult outpatients into one of three groups: (1) those receiving a written description of the living will, (2) those receiving a scripted encounter with an interviewer, and (3) those watching a 5-minute videotape. All three modalities were identically scripted and involved the participation of the same