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Adult nursing
Discussing life expectancy: incorporating evidence-based professional training and guidelines into clinical practice
  1. Akhtar Ebrahimi Ghassemi
  1. Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Akhtar Ebrahimi Ghassemi, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY, USA; aghassemi11{at}

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Commentary on: Bjork E, Thompson W, Ryg J, et al. Patient preferences for discussing the life expectancy: a systematic review. J Gen Intern Med 2021;36: 3136–47. doi:10.1007/s11606-021-06973-5

Implications for practice and research

  • To provide quality patient-centred care, healthcare providers (HCPs) should involve patients in treatment decisions and consider patients’ preferences in discussing life expectancy.

  • Innovative research should focus on developing tools to assist HCPs in predicting life expectancy and evidence-based professional training to prepare HCPs for evaluating and integrating life expectancy discussion into their routine clinical practice.


Literature has revealed that contextual discussion of life expectancy helps inform decisions related to screening, preventive measures, treatment options and individual care planning.1 2

However, several systematic reviews (SRs) have disclosed that HCPs may encounter challenges including lack of appropriate competence and evidence-based guidelines, and imbalance of power between themselves and their patients.2 3 Bjork et al conducted an SR with the purpose of providing ‘a …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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