An exploratory survey of end-of-life attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of adolescents with HIV/AIDS and their families.
ABSTRACT For youths with life-limiting conditions, little is known regarding families' understanding of their adolescent's wishes for end-of-life (EOL) care.
To examine congruence in HIV positive adolescents and their families' thoughts about death and dying.
The Lyon Advance Care Planning Survey-Adolescent and Surrogate versions were administered within a randomized controlled trial. Participants (n=48) were medically stable adolescents aged 14-21 years with HIV/AIDS and their families. Congruence was measured by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for continuous variables and by kappa for ordinal or dichotomous responses.
Adolescent participants were as follows: mean age 16.6 years (range 14-21); 37.5% males; 92% African American; 38% CD4 count <200; and viral load mean=32,079 copies/mL (range <400-91,863 copies/mL). Adolescent/family dyads agreed that it is important to complete an advance directive to let loved ones know their wishes (21/24 dyads), yet no dyads agreed an advance directive had been completed. Dyads endorsed incongruent thoughts about the adolescent being afraid of dying in pain (64%; congruent afraid=8 dyads, kappa=-0.0769) and being off life support machines (congruent important=9 dyads, ICC=-0.133, 95% confidence interval = -0.540, 0.302, P=0.721). Families' knowledge of teens' preferences for the timing of EOL conversations (early vs. late in course of illness) was poor (kappa=-0.1186). Adolescents (90%) wanted to talk about EOL issues before they entered the dying phase.
Although important areas of congruence emerged, equally important areas, such as the timing of these conversations and adolescents' EOL needs and wishes, are not known by their families. Families need help initiating conversations to assure that their adolescents' EOL wishes are known to them.
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ABSTRACT: Congruence in spirituality between HIV+ adolescent (n = 40)/family (n = 40) dyads and psychological adjustment and quality of life were assessed, using the Spiritual Well-Being Scale of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Beck Anxiety Inventory and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory at baseline and 3-month post-intervention. Adolescents were 60 % female and 92 % African American. Congruence in spirituality between adolescent/surrogate dyads remained unchanged at 3 months. High congruence existed for "having a reason for living"; rejection of "life lacks meaning/purpose" and "HIV is a punishment from God." Adolescents were less likely to forgive the harm others caused them than their families.Journal of Religion and Health 10/2012; 53(3). · 1.02 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Advance care planning (ACP) prepares patients and their families for future health care decisions; however, the needs of adolescent oncology patients for participation in ACP have not been well studied. OBJECTIVE To examine the efficacy of family-centered ACP. DESIGN AND SETTING Two-group randomized controlled trial in a pediatric oncology program. PARTICIPANTS Sixty adolescents aged 14 to 21 years with cancer and their surrogates or families were enrolled in the study between January 17, 2011, and March 29, 2012. INTERVENTION Thirty dyads received 3- to 60-minute sessions 1 week apart. Intervention dyads completed (1) the Lyon Family-Centered ACP Survey, (2) the Respecting Choices interview, and (3) Five Wishes. Control subjects received standard care plus information. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Statement of treatment preferences and Decisional Conflict Scale score. RESULTS The mean age of the adolescents was 16 years; 36 (60%) were male, 30 (50%) white, 26 (43%) black, and 4 (7%) Asian. Diagnoses were as follows: leukemia (14 patients [47%]), brain tumor (8 [27%]), solid tumor (6 [20%]), and lymphoma (2 [7%]). Significantly increased congruence was observed for intervention dyads compared with controls for 4 of the 6 disease-specific scenarios; for example, for situation 2 ("treatment would extend my life by not more than 2 to 3 months"), intervention dyads demonstrated higher congruence (κ = 0.660; P < .001) vs control dyads (κ = -0.0636; P = .70). Intervention adolescents (100%) wanted their families to do what is best at the time, whereas fewer control adolescents (62%) gave families this leeway. Intervention adolescents were significantly better informed about end-of-life decisions (t = 2.93; effect size, 0.961; 95% CI, 0.742-1.180; P = .007). Intervention families were more likely to concur on limiting treatments than controls. An ethnic difference was found in only one situation. CONCLUSIONS Advance care planning enabled families to understand and honor their adolescents' wishes. Intervention dyads were more likely than controls to limit treatments. Underserved African American families were willing to participate.JAMA pediatrics. 03/2013;