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There is currently a debate among leaders in palliative care about advance care planning and how to move forward with research on communicating with seriously ill patients and their families.

Susan Hickman, PhD, the director of the Indiana University Center for Aging Research at Regenstrief Institute, is nationally recognized for her work to help ensure that patients’ end-of-life treatment preferences are known and honored as well as for her work translating research into policy. She is a founding member of the National POLST Paradigm and has spent two decades studying the impact of the model across the country.

Recently, Dr. Hickman and other colleagues wrote a response to a JAMA Network Viewpoint article that did not support advance care planning. In their response, Dr. Hickman and co-authors discussed the value of advance care planning, stating that the differing viewpoints largely stem from an antiquated focus on advance directive legal forms rather than the process of exploring what matters most to patients to prepare them for future decision-making. They also note that there is evidence from rigorous trials demonstrating numerous positive, patient-centered outcomes associated with advance care planning.

Dr. Hickman and other authors from both articles appeared on the podcast Geripal to discuss agreements and disagreements about the future of the field.  

Listen to the podcast here: https://geripal.org/advance-care-planning-discussion-susan-hickman-sean-morrison-rebecca-sudore-and-bob-arnold/

In addition to leading the IU Center for Aging Research at Regenstrief Institute, Dr. Susan Hickman is a professor at Indiana University School of Nursing, a professor and Cornelius and Yvonne Pettinga Chair of Aging Research at IU School of Medicine, and the co-director of the IUPUI Research in Palliative and End-of-Life Communicating and Training (RESPECT) Signature Center.