BHCRI Advance Care Planning

BHCRI Advance Care Planning

Project Title

Educating Nova Scotia physicians to initiate and engage in advance care planning for cancer patients: a mixed methods study

Time Period and Funding

2014-2016, Ivor Hamilton Cancer Care and Education Award from the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute (BHCRI), $39,715

Principal Investigator

Robin Urquhart


Grace Johnston, Geoff Porter, Paul McIntyre, David Henderson, Anne Frances d’Intino, Joan Sargeant, Fred Burge, and Cynthia Kendall

Project Staff

Terrilyn Chaisson for curricular review

Lindsay Grant-Nunn for interviews


  • Identify how physicians are currently trained in advance care planning (ACP)

  • Understand patients’ and families’ views of ACP and what they need from their physicians during the process

  • Develop and evaluate an interactive workshop for physicians on ACP


Phase 1 is a curricular review of undergraduate medical education, post-graduate medical education, and continuing professional development at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine and interviews with 8-10 cancer patients who are suitable candidates for ACP and 8-10 family members of patients with advanced cancer.

Phase 2 is the development of an ACP interactive educational workshop, informed by Phase 1 findings and the most current available best-practice physician education.

Phase 3 is the piloting and evaluation of the educational workshop: participants’ acceptability, satisfaction, confidence, outcome expectancies, and recommendations.


The main outcome will be an educational resource for physicians on ACP.