Supporting conversations about end-of-life care

Research project: Advance care planning in dementia: Improving GP consultations and development of a support programme for general practitioners (Consult-GP)

Lead Investigator: Dr Nathan Davies

  • Institution: University College London
  • Grant type: PhD Studentship
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Amount: £89,859.36

Why did we fund this research?

Comment from one of our Research Network volunteers:

'My first reaction was I want ACP now!'

'Coming up to one year since diagnosis my wife is trying to do the planning and I am still trying to get used to the diagnosis. I say "I am still me" but everything around me will change - forgetting that I will change.'

Project summary

Dr Davies and his team aim to analyse conversations between people with dementia, their carers and GPs, around end of life care and what will happen in the later stages of the disease. They will then use the information to develop a support package for GPs.

Background 

Supporting people with dementia after their diagnosis is really important. Although it can be difficult, having conversations about end of life care and what will happen in the later stages of the illness, can improve the experience of people with dementia and carers.  

These conversations are often the responsibility of GPs. However, many GPs report that they lack the confidence and skills to talk about end of life care with carers and people with dementia.  

What does this project involve?

Dr Davies and his team aim to observe and analyse these conversations between GPs, carers and people with dementia. They will then use the information they gather to develop a practical support package for GPs. This will provide information and support to GPs to help them have the much- needed conversations about end of life care.

How will this research help people affected by dementia?

By increasing the number and quality of conversations, we can reduce the number of rushed decisions that are often made at points of crisis.

This project could improve the end of life care experienced by the person with dementia, while at the same time reduce the grief and stress often felt by family members and carers.

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