Individual perceptions of the desired judgments and behaviors that direct our attitudes and behavior are known as personal values. Advance care planning (ACP) currently places a strong focus on taking into account individual life goals and values articulated as a Values Directive (VD) to inform conversations about medical care. For a study, researchers sought to look at the variety of values, experiences, and adjustments that cancer patients’ VDs reflect.

Analysis was done on the information included in the VDs of the ACPs of cancer patients who took part in a randomized control experiment contrasting the benefit of communication between cancer patient-caregivers with standard care. In addition, qualitative phenomenological content analysis was employed to comprehend how participants interpreted their lived experiences, and qualitative phenomenological content analysis was employed.

ACPs were completed by 42 individuals (37.2% response rate), while VDs were completed by 97.6% of these people (30.1% gastrointestinal cancer, 57.1% female, mean age 72 years). Participants discussed various coping mechanisms for functional decline and adaptations to frailty. Experiencing generosity, building trust via relationships with family and friends, and receiving care helped reduce emotional and financial worries. Anxiety and ambivalence over dying were voiced simultaneously as an experienced acceptance of death. They used sacred and secular rituals to express their faith or views.

People living with Cancer attempted to make sense of their experiences while simultaneously projecting both sensitivity and resilience in the face of contradicting feelings and realities. Therefore, ACP discussions should focus on how patients use their values and life objectives to maximize their adaptations to sickness since the decisions people make as they approach death to connect to their most cherished values.

Reference: jpsmjournal.com/article/S0885-3924(22)00834-X/fulltext