The use of digital health to communicate medication and health-related goals of care for older people with polypharmacy


  • Lisa Kouladjian O'Donnell The University of Sydney
  • Aagam Bordia The University of Sydney
  • Sarah Hilmer The University of Sydney
  • Parisa Aslani The University of Sydney


Background: Identifying goals of care of older people can optimise health and medication management, however these conversations are often sidelined due to several barriers. Digital health has the potential to allow individuals to communicate their goals of care to their healthcare practitioners, however little is known about the preferences of older adults.

Aim: To explore digital technologies that older people would prefer to use to document and communicate their health and medication-related goals of care.

Methods: A questionnaire was developed to explore the preferences and types of digital technologies older people (≥65 years) would use to communicate their goals of care. Questions included exploring older adults’ willingness to use digital technologies and their preferred options. The questionnaire was administered within two settings: a) hospitalised older adults admitted to Royal North Shore Hospital, and b) community-dwelling older adults. Responses were analysed descriptively.

Results: Currently, the questionnaire has been completed by 24 hospitalised and 70 community-dwelling older adults, mean(SD) age 76.4(7.3) and 74.7(7.0), respectively. Community-dwelling older people (n=44, 63.9%) were more willing to using digital health to document goals of care compared with hospitalised older adults (n=13, 54.2%). Both community-dwelling and hospitalised older adults expressed that Email (n=25(43.9%), n=5(15.6%)) and Websites (n=11(19.3%), n=8(25%)) were the preferred options to communicate goals of care to their healthcare practitioners.

Conclusions: Preliminary results suggests that older people are willing to document and communicate their goals of care using digital health technologies.





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