Research has shown most frail elderly patients want to maintain quality of life rather than prolong it, but the use of invasive life- sustaining technologies in this population has been increasing. The iCAN-ACP national study aims to narrow the gap between the care that frail elderly Canadians want and the care that they receive by evaluating ways to improve care planning conversations between patients, families and health professionals.

This three-year research project has engaged the elderly, families, clinicians, and health care organizations to implement and evaluate a suite of tools to support advance care planning, a process for reflecting on and communicating wishes for future health care. Tools include videos, workbooks, interactive websites, and conversation guides, all of which can support better communication and decision-making about care, particularly for those who can no longer communicate their wishes.

The study has been conducted in several health settings across Canada, bringing together a team of 32 investigators from 16 universities, five international collaborators and 42 partner organizations. Work has been undertaken within hospital, primary care and long-term care settings, with a Diversity Access Team working across all settings to explore challenges among members of the LGBT population, as well as South Asian and Chinese populations.

The study is funded by the by Canadian Frailty Network and supported by Government of Canada through Networks of Centres of Excellence program.