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Advance Care Planning Lowers Symptoms in Teens With HIV

Family-centered pediatric advance care planning may result in fewer symptoms, less suffering

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

TUESDAY, Oct. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Family-centered pediatric advance care planning (FACE pACP) is associated with a lower likelihood of symptoms and suffering for adolescents with HIV, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in Pediatrics.

Maureen E. Lyon, Ph.D., from Children's National in Washington, D.C., and colleagues randomly assigned 105 adolescent-family dyads to three weekly sessions of either FACE pACP (including pediatric advance care planning survey, Respecting Choices interview, and 5 Wishes directive) or a control arm (including developmental history, safety tips, and nutrition and exercise tips). Patients were a mean age of 17.8 years; 54 percent were male and 93 percent were African-American.

The researchers identified two latent HIV symptom classes at 12 months: higher symptoms and suffering (27 percent) and lower symptoms and suffering (73 percent). A positive effect was seen between FACE pACP and dyadic treatment congruence, and higher treatment congruence had a negative effect on symptoms and suffering. Symptoms and suffering were predicted by higher religiousness.

"Our results underscore the potential to improve patients' quality of life by offering pediatric advance care planning in HIV clinics based at pediatric hospitals," Lyon said in a statement.

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