Effectiveness of Dyadic Advance Care Planning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Xiaohang Liu, Mu Hsing Ho, Tongyao Wang, Denise Shuk Ting Cheung, Chia Chin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Context: Making decisions regarding end-of-life care is particularly challenging for patients and their family caregivers. Studies have advocated that family involvement in advance care planning is important to provide goal-concordant care and to increase family caregivers’ preparation for surrogate decision-making. However, there is a lack of evidence to examine the effectiveness of advance care planning using the patient-caregiver dyadic approach. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of dyadic advance care planning. Methods: A literature search was systematically carried out in 7 databases from inception to March 2023. All randomized controlled trials with advance care planning interventions for mentally competent adults and their family caregivers were included. Meta-analysis was conducted for available quantitative data related to end-of-life care; Otherwise, narrative syntheses were performed. Results: In total, 14 randomized controlled trials were included. The main contents of all interventions were summarized into five categories, namely sharing illness experience and perception, introducing knowledge about advance care planning and end-of-life care, discussing individual's/dyads’ values, goals, and care preferences, addressing dyads’ discordance, and providing supports to complete advance care planning behaviors. The meta-analysis showed that dyadic advance care planning had significant effects on advance directive documentation (OR = 7.58, 95% CI [1.41, 40.63], P = 0.02) and proactive communication with doctors (OR = 2.42, 95% CI [1.42, 4.12], P = 0.001). In addition, interventions may improve dyad's congruence on end-of-life care, family caregivers’ confidence in surrogate decision-making, and quality of end-of-life communication. Conclusions: This review supports that dyadic advance care planning is a promising approach to preparing patients and their family caregivers for end-of-life communication and decision-making. Given that this multifaceted process is influenced by multiple factors within the socio-cultural context, future studies are warranted to identify the barriers and facilitators to implement dyadic advance care planning in real-world settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e869-e889
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Advance care planning
  • decision making
  • end-of-life
  • family dyad
  • meta-analysis
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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