Considering the CPR Decision Through the Lens of Prospect Theory in the Context of Advanced Chronic Illness.

Research paper by Mercedes M Bern-Klug

Indexed on: 31 Dec '16Published on: 31 Dec '16Published in: The Gerontologist


It is common for people with advanced chronic illness to have many health care providers and many health care-related visits. It is also common, during those visits, to be asked whether attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are desired, in the event of cardiac arrest. Although the question is common, the implications of a "yes" or a "no" may not be well understood. Although CPR can be a life-saving procedure, it is not always in the patient's best interest. This article discusses experiences with CPR of 2 older women (and their adult children) during their last years of life, and uses concepts from prospect theory to make suggestions for changes in the way health care providers and patients approach advance care planning including the CPR decision.