advance care planning, decision-making, caregivers, elderly, China



  1. Liu, Xuebing MS, RN
  2. Chen, Hui MD
  3. Zhang, Lingli MS, RN
  4. Zhang, Qiongwen MS, RN
  5. Feng, Ting MD
  6. Liu, Dongling PhD, RN


In China, traditional culture advocates family consensus, and the advance care planning (ACP) engagement of family members is crucial to the implementation of ACP. However, there is still a lack of research on family members' engagement in ACP in mainland China. This study investigated the ACP engagement of family members of community-dwelling elderly patients with chronic diseases and provided evidence for further ACP intervention research. We conducted a mixed-methods sequential explanatory study, 273 family members were surveyed, and semistructured interviews were conducted. Following that, 12 family members were selected after statistical analysis to supplement the quantitative results. The results showed that the ACP engagement of family members of elderly patients with chronic diseases in the community was low, but the self-efficacy was higher. The age of family members, severity, and duration of patients' diseases were the main influencing factors for family members' ACP engagement. Traditional cultural, clinical decision-making mode, lack of understanding of ACP, and factors within the family may impede family members' engagement. This study showed that family-centered ACP practice has significant advantages in China and that future research should focus on the Chinese culture and medical system and highlight the role of families.