Dr. Catarina Sampaio MartinsUniversity of Porto, Portugal
Title: Advance directives’ Knowledge among Portuguese Palliative Patients and Caregivers: Do the socio-demographic factors influence it? A cross-sectional survey
The influence of demographic factors on the completion and knowledge of the Portuguese Advance Directives (PAD) and the Health Care Proxy’s (HCP) role is still not clear. To identify sociodemographic features associated with knowledge and adherence to PAD and HCP in palliative care, we made a cross-sectional analysis of the sociodemographic data, PAD and HCP role knowledge, and PAD Register from a group of 120 participants (60 palliative patients and 60 caregivers). The participants presented differences among them regarding age (p<.001), gender (p=.003), education (p<.001), job (p<.001), marital status (p=.043), and access to the internet (p=.003), but not regarding religion (p=.21). Of the 120 participants, only 13.3% were aware of a PAD document, 15.0% were aware of the HCP role, and 5.0% had previously filled a PAD. Religious beliefs (Non-Catholic) were the only sociodemographic factor significantly related to these three topics. We concluded that there is low awareness of PAD and about the HCP’s role in palliative care, but there is higher knowledge on these topics among non-Catholic individuals. End-of-life decisions seem to be influenced by similarities in religious beliefs between patients and HCPs. Improving education is necessary, namely in palliative care.
Catarina Sampaio Martins is a graduated anesthesiologist and palliative care PhD student at the University of Porto, Portugal. She is currently the chief of the anesthesiology department and the coordinator of the chronic pain unit of the Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro Hospital Center, in Vila Real. She has a regular collaboration with the palliative medicine service of this institution. She works as an associate professor at Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro University but collaborates with other academic institutions in seminars and academic courses. She has several publications on the anesthesiology and the palliative care field and collaborates with scientific journals as a peer reviewer.