A Population-Based Study on Advance Directive Completion and Completion Intention among citizens of the Western Canadian province of Alberta Academic Article uri icon

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  • Determining what proportion of the public has completed an advance directive and which population subgroups complete or do not complete such a directive is crucially important for planning purposes. Our research objective was to examine and compare advance directive completion, intention to complete, and noncompletion rates among citizens of one Canadian province. A telephone survey was conducted with 1,203 Albertans who met gender, age, and other requirements for a representative sample. When asked, “Do you have a living will or personal directive?” 43.6 percent reported having completed a directive and 42.1 percent indicated that they planned or intended to complete one. Completion rates increased with age. Widowed, self-employed, and retired people, and those who had lost a family member or friend and had other select end-of-life experiences and viewpoints were significantly more likely to have completed one. Although older people more often had an advance directive, personal life-and-death experiences should be recognized as major influences on directive completion.


  • Wilson, Donna M
  • Houttekier, Dirk
  • Kunju, Sabu Aliyar
  • Birch, Stephen
  • Cohen, Joachim
  • MacLeod, Rod
  • Hewitt, Jessica A

publication date

  • March 2013