Date of Conferral





Human Services


Tracey Phillips


The increasing focus on end-of-life (EOL) care is influencing the role of advance directive (AD) documents. Difficult conversations among family caregivers and their loved ones are becoming more and more critical. Considering the value of communicating EOL wishes, family caregivers’ perceptions about ADs for their loved ones with Parkinson’s disease (PD) must be examined. Using the theory of planned behavior (TPB) as a foundation, the purpose of this generic qualitative study was to understand family caregivers of PD patients and their perceptions and experiences relating to AD documents. This study involved using purposeful sampling and semi-structured interviews with 11 family caregivers. The research question involved family caregivers’ perceptions and experiences concerning ADs for PD patients. Phone interviews were conducted and recorded to collect required data. Interviews were transcribed by hand. Data analysis included reflexive journaling and member checking to enhance trustworthiness. Inductive analysis focused on identifying patterns and themes to synthesize data. Themes were used to organize study results, and each theme related to perceptions and experiences of family caregivers of PD patients regarding ADs. This study’s findings will contribute to positive social change by developing a better understanding from family caregivers of PD patient’s perceptions of ADs and their experiences relating to their loved one’s use or non-use of ADs.