HealthDay News — Family-centered pediatric advance care planning (FACE pACP) is associated with a lower likelihood of symptoms and suffering for adolescents with HIV, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in Pediatrics.

Maureen E. Lyon, PhD, from Children’s National in Washington, DC, and colleagues randomly assigned 105 adolescent-family dyads to 3 weekly sessions of either FACE pACP (including pediatric advance care planning survey, Respecting Choices interview, and 5 Wishes directive) or a control arm (including developmental history, safety tips, and nutrition and exercise tips). Patients were a mean age of 17.8 years; 54% were male and 93% were African-American.

The researchers identified two latent HIV symptom classes at 12 months: higher symptoms and suffering (27%) and lower symptoms and suffering (73%). A positive effect was seen between FACE pACP and dyadic treatment congruence, and higher treatment congruence had a negative effect on symptoms and suffering. Symptoms and suffering were predicted by higher religiousness.

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“Our results underscore the potential to improve patients’ quality of life by offering pediatric advance care planning in HIV clinics based at pediatric hospitals,” Lyon said in a statement.

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