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Video decision aids to assist with advance care planning: a systematic review and meta-analysis

24 Jun 2015


Advance care planning (ACP) can result in end-of-life care that is more congruent with patients’ values and preferences. There is increasing interest in video decision aids to assist with ACP. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of video decision aids on patients’ preferences regarding life-sustaining treatments (primary outcome).


Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Data sources

MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycInfo, CINAHL, AMED and CENTRAL, between 1980 and February 2014, and correspondence with authors.

Eligibility criteria for selecting studies

Randomised controlled trials of adult patients that compared a video decision aid to a non-video-based intervention to assist with choices about use of life-sustaining treatments and reported at least one ACP-related outcome.

Data extraction

Reviewers worked independently and in pairs to screen potentially eligible articles, and to extract data regarding risk of bias, population, intervention, comparator and outcomes. Reviewers assessed quality of evidence (confidence in effect estimates) for each outcome using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation framework.


10 trials enrolling 2220 patients were included. Low-quality evidence suggests that patients who use a video decision aid are less likely to indicate a preference for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (pooled risk ratio, 0.50 (95% CI 0.27 to 0.95); I2=65%). Moderate-quality evidence suggests that video decision aids result in greater knowledge related to ACP (standardised mean difference, 0.58 (95% CI 0.38 to 0.77); I2=0%). No study reported on the congruence of end-of-life treatments with patients’ wishes. No study evaluated the effect of video decision aids when integrated into clinical care.


Video decision aids may improve some ACP-related outcomes. Before recommending their use in clinical practice, more evidence is needed to confirm these findings and to evaluate the impact of video decision aids when integrated into patient care.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open