Does Volunteering Experience Influence Advance Care Planning in Old Age?

TitleDoes Volunteering Experience Influence Advance Care Planning in Old Age?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsShen, H-W, Khosla, N
JournalJ Gerontol Soc Work
Date Published2016 07
ISSN Number1540-4048
KeywordsAdvance care planning, Aged, Aging, Female, Humans, Income, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Social Support, Socioeconomic factors, Terminal Care, Volunteers

Advance care planning (ACP) increases the likelihood patients will receive end-of-life care that is congruent with their preferences and lowers stress among both patients and caregivers. Previous efforts to increase ACP have mainly focused on information provision in the very late stage of life. This study examines whether a relationship exists between volunteering and ACP, and whether this relationship is associated with social support. The sample comprises 877 individuals who were aged 55+ in 2008, and were deceased before 2010. The sample is derived from seven waves (1998-2010) of data from the Health and Retirement Study. Logistic regression results showed that overall ACP and durable power of attorney for health care (DPAHC) were both higher (OR = 1.61 and 1.71, respectively) for older adults with volunteering experience in the past 10 years than those without such experience. Available social support (relatives and friends living nearby) was not associated with the relationship between volunteering and ACP. Other factors related to ACP included poorer health, death being expected, death due to cancer, older age, and being a racial minority. Involving older people in volunteer work may help to increase ACP. Future research is encouraged to identify reasons for the association between volunteering and ACP.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol Soc Work
Citation Key8681
PubMed ID27592593