PHYSICIAN ORDERS for Life-Sustaining Treatment Form: Honoring End-of-Life Directives for Nursing Home Residents
Journal of Gerontological Nursing
Meyers, Judy L.; Moore, Crystal Dea; McGrory, Alice; Sparr, Jennifer; and Ahern, Melissa, "PHYSICIAN ORDERS for Life-Sustaining Treatment Form: Honoring End-of-Life Directives for Nursing Home Residents" (2004). Social Work. 39.
The Physician Orders for LifeSustaining Treatment (POLST) form provides choices about end-of-life care and gives these choices the power of physician orders. The POLST form assures end-of-life choices can be implemented in all settings, from the home through the health-care continuum. The use of the POLST form was evaluated in a pilot study in nursing homes in two eastern Washington counties. Chart reviews and template analysis of interviews revealed the POLST form accurately conveyed end-of-life wishes in 19 of 21 cases. An informed consent process was evidenced in 16 of 21 cases, and the POLST form was congruent with residents' existing advance directives for health care. The findings support the continued use, development, and evaluation of this promising tool for improving end-of-life care.