Insurance Status and Ethnicity Impact Health Disparities in Rates of Advance Directives in Trauma

Krista L. Haines*, Benjamin P. Nguyen, Ioana Antonescu, Jennifer Freeman, Christopher Cox, Vijay Krishnamoorthy, Brad Kawano, Suresh Agarwal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Advanced directives (ADs) provide a framework from which families may understand patient’s wishes. However, end-of-life planning may not be prioritized by everyone. This analysis aimed to determine what populations have ADs and how they affected trauma outcomes. Methods: Adult trauma patients recorded in the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) from 2013-2015 were included. The primary outcome was presence of an AD. Secondary outcomes included mortality, length of stay (LOS), mechanical ventilation, ICU admission/LOS, withdrawal of life-sustaining measures, and discharge disposition. Multivariable logistic regression models were developed for outcomes. Results: 44 705 patients were included in the analyses. Advanced directives were present in 1.79% of patients. The average age for patients with ADs was 77.8 ± 10.7. African American (odds ratio (OR).53, confidence intervals [CI].36-.79) and Asian (OR.22, CI.05-.91) patients were less likely to have ADs. Conversely, Medicaid (OR 1.70, CI 1.06-2.73) and Medicare (OR 1.65, CI 1.25-2.17) patients were more likely to have ADs as compared to those with private insurance. The presence of ADs was associated with increased hospital mortality (OR 2.84, CI 2.19-3.70), increased transition to comfort measures (OR 2.87, CI 2.08-3.95), and shorter LOS (CO −.74, CI −1.26-.22). Patients with ADs had an increased odds of hospice care (OR 4.24, CI 3.18-5.64). Conclusion: Advanced directives at admission are uncommon, particularly among African Americans and Asians. The presence of ADs was associated with increased mortality, use of mechanical ventilation, admission to the ICU, withdrawal of life-sustaining measures, and hospice. Future research should target expansion of ADs among minority populations to alleviate disparities in end-of-life treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-97
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • advanced care planning
  • advanced directives
  • end-of-life care
  • hospice
  • trauma disparities


Dive into the research topics of 'Insurance Status and Ethnicity Impact Health Disparities in Rates of Advance Directives in Trauma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this