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Seminars on advance directives for adult outpatients increased completion rates

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To determine whether attendance at an educational seminar compared with receipt of postal information will increase the completion of advance directives by medical outpatients.


Randomised controlled trial.


An internal medicine clinic in a military teaching hospital in Washington, DC, USA.


187 patients (mean age 62 y, 55% women, 67% white) who did not have a written living will (advance directive) and requested information via a questionnaire filled out during a clinic visit. Exclusion criterion was inability to complete the questionnaire. Follow up was 91% at 1 month.


95 patients were allocated to a standardised 60 minute seminar with 20 patients in each group. The seminar included a 10 minute didactic presentation on advance directives, durable power of attorney for health care, …

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  • Source of funding: Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

  • For article reprint: Dr F J Landry, University of Vermont, Fletcher Allen Health Care, 310 Pine Street, Burlington, VT 05401, USA. Fax +1 802 863 6639.