Veronica Kassab

Major: Nursing
Indiana University School of Nursing
Supervisor: Dr. Amber Comer Ph.D., J.D.
Department: Health Sciences

Utilization of Goals of Care Conversations in Patients with Severe Strokes

Goals of care conversations are essential in determining patient preferences when it comes to advanced prognoses. Because each patient is different in terms of their values, goals, and treatment plans, the course of their treatment has to be defined in order to ensure they are receiving the proper level of care. In the clinical setting, these conversations can be hard to approach because of the discussion of ethical issues and increased stress in patients and their families. Despite the difficulty of these conversations, most patients who receive goals of care conversations have poor prognoses or a life altering diagnosis. In many of these situations, determining goals of care becomes even more important because a significant amount of these patients have a health care representative assisting in the decision-making process. Goals of care conversations not only help physicians determine the course of their patients’ treatments, but also work towards improving patient and family satisfaction while assisting surrogate decision-makers. Through the utilization of a goals of care conversation template in patients with severe strokes, physicians are guided through the process of having these difficult conversations while also ensuring that each patient’s care is looked at through a holistic lens.