Decision Making Among Older Adults at the End of Life: A Theoretical Perspective : Advances in Nursing Science

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Decision Making Among Older Adults at the End of Life

A Theoretical Perspective

Romo, Rafael D. PhD, RN, PHN; Dawson-Rose, Carol S. PhD, RN, FAAN; Mayo, Ann M. DNSc, RN, FAAN; Wallhagen, Margaret I. PhD, GNP-BC, FGSA, AGSF, FAAN

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Advances in Nursing Science 39(4):p 308-319, October/December 2016. | DOI: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000139


Understanding changes in decision making among older adults across time is important for health care providers. We examined how older adults with a limited prognosis used their perception of prognosis and health in their decision-making processes and related these findings to prospect theory. The theme of decision making in the context of ambiguity emerged, reflecting how participants used both prognosis and health to value choices, a behavior not fully captured by prospect theory. We propose an extension of the theory that can be used to better visualize decision making at this unique time of life among older adults.

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