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Interventions aiming to improve advance care planning uptake in oncology: a scoping review of recent randomized controlled trials.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions aiming to improve ACP uptake appears mixed. The purpose of this scoping review is to summarize findings from recent RCTs assessing the efficacy of interventions designed to increase ACP uptake in cancer care.

RECENT FINDINGS: The PubMed database was searched for studies published between 2021 and 2023. Ten RCTs were identified that evaluated a wide range of interventions aimed at encouraging or facilitating ACP communication among patients with advanced cancer, caregivers, and HCPs. Three RCTs developed ACP facilitation tools for patients and sometimes caregivers. Six RCTs involved integrating trained ACP facilitators into patient care, and one RCT used nudges to encourage oncologists trained in ACP discussions to initiate discussions with patients at highest risk of short-term mortality. Most of the reviewed interventions were based on previously tested intervention approaches or tools.

SUMMARY: The key effects identified in this review are the facilitation of ACP discussions among patients, caregivers, and HCPs, and the documentation of patient preferences in the medical record. The direct involvement of facilitators in ACP document drafting and inclusion in patient files, as well as interventions prompting end-of-life discussions, contributed to this effect.

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