Policy capturing was used to provide insight into those factors that people consider important in the decision of whether to accept life-sustaining medical treatment. First, open-ended interviews with community-dwelling elderly persons (n = 30) were conducted to determine the factors they would consider when drafting an advance directive. College students (n = 53) then made judgments as to whether they would accept life-sustaining treatment for each of 100 hypothetical vignettes comprising a similar set of factors. Results revealed that 1) students made consistent judgments, 2) there was considerable variability in their mean judgments, 3) the most influential factors were mental and physical functioning, 4) mental and physical functioning had an interactive effect on judgments, and 5) subjective estimates of importance were significantly related to policy-capturing weights. This approach for study ing the relationship of individuals' values to their acceptance of life-sustaining therapy may be useful in future studies of patient and surrogate decision making. Key words: advance directives; decision making; judgment. (Med Decis Making 1995;15:217-226).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy