Supplementary Material for: The Impact of a Tumor Diagnosis on Patients' Attitudes toward Advance Directives

Background: Although advance care planning and the completion of advance directives (ADs) are important tools to avoid unwanted aggressive care once patients have lost their decision-making capacity, only a minority of cancer patients are admitted with completed ADs, and little is known about patients' wishes regarding AD consultations. Methods: For 1 year, every new patient admitted to the hematology/oncology outpatient clinic of the University Hospital Regensburg received a self-administered questionnaire comprising a self-evaluation of AD knowledge and questions about preferences regarding consultation partners and the time of consultation. Disease-related data were collected from medical records. Statistics were calculated with SPSS. Results: Of the 500 questionnaires handed out, 394 (75%) were evaluable and analyzed. Twenty-eight percent of the participants had completed an AD (living will or health care proxy). Ninety-two percent of the participants without ADs had never received a consultation offer from any professional involved. Only 20% perceived a clear relation between cancer and AD consultations. More than 50% of the participants without ADs were in favor of consultations ‘now' or ‘in a few weeks', while more than 40% objected to AD consultations. Conclusions: Oncology patients have a large unmet demand for AD consultations. However, a relevant percentage of these patients object to AD consultations. Structured and early AD consultation offers should be made, and early discussions about indications for aggressive treatment should take place.