This pilot study examined whether an interactive, computer based decision aid can help patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) engage in effective advance care planning. Individuals being treated for ALS (≥18 years old, English speaking, and without dementia) were recruited to use a decision aid and complete pre-/post-intervention measures. Seventeen individuals completed the pre-intervention questionnaires and decision aid; 16/17 (94%) completed the post-intervention measures, and none reported any burden from the intervention. 'Overall satisfaction' with the decision aid was very high (mean = 8.5 ± 0.27: 1 = not at all satisfied, 10 = extremely satisfied), as was 'perceived accuracy' of the computer generated advance directive in reflecting patients' wishes (mean = 8.6 ± 0.27: 1 = not at all accurate, 10 = extremely accurate). Participants judged the 'amount of information' provided by the intervention appropriate (mean = 6.8 ± 0.38: 1 = too little, 5 = about right, 10 = too much), and on a detailed, 12-item assessment judged the decision aid very positively (mean = 4.16 ± 0.16: 1 = very dissatisfied, 5 = very satisfied). The intervention prompted many participants to discuss advance care planning with loved ones and to share their computer generated advance directive with their physician. This study demonstrates that individuals with ALS can successfully complete a computer based decision aid for advance care planning, and suggests that this intervention can help promote effective advance care planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-177
Number of pages6
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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