Reviews

Discussing resuscitation preferences with patients: Challenges and rewards

Abstract

Abstract

Discussing preferences regarding resuscitation is a challenging and important task for any physician. Understanding patients' wishes at the end of life allows physicians to provide the type of care patients want, to avoid unwanted interventions, and to promote patient autonomy and dignity. Hospitalists face an even greater challenge because they are often meeting a patient for the first time in a crisis situation. Despite the frequency with which clinicians have these conversations, they typically fall short when discussing code status with patients. In this evidence‐based review, we discuss physician barriers to conducting effective discussions, offer a variety of approaches to enhancing these conversations, and review important communication techniques. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2006;1:231–240. © 2006 Society of Hospital Medicine.