Living will: do the Portuguese know what it is?

Manuel Luís Capelas, Cátia Ferreira, Cristina Pereira, Margarida Alvarenga, Sandra Catarina Simões, Sílvia Patrícia Coelho, Mara Sousa Freitas

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review



Introduction: It has taken over three years since the law (25/2012) was passed and we still do not know about the Portuguese population’s knowledge regarding the Living Will (LW), nor the law effects. Aim: To identify the fraction of the full age Portuguese population that is aware of the meaning of Living Will; to classify and analyze the factors that might be related with this knowledge and, finally, recognize, among those who know what Living Will is, what was the information resource. Methods: Stratified random sampling, in order to be representative of the Portuguese population over 18 years (n=1064); analytical, cross-sectional, observational study; It has been done trough face-by-face interviews performed. Results: Only 22% know what Living will is; this lack of knowledge is not influenced by gender, age or familiar conditions, but it appears to be influenced by the regional area along the country; the education seems to influence the knowledge about Living Will. The ones who have a high level education are those who know more: Degree course (48,8%); 12 years of school (27,7%); University students ( 26,2%); 7-11 years of school (17,8%); 4-6 years of school (11,3%); less than 4 years (3.1%). The salary income is related to the knowledge about the Living will. The ones who have a high salary know the Living will, especially those who earn between €3000 e €4999 (60.5%); those who earn between €1745 and €2999 (41,5%). Information resources: Social media-66.2%,family doctors-2,8%, Nurses-2,9%,others healthcare providers-4,3%,information posted in the healthcare services-1%,other unidentified information resources-23,4%. From the 216 respondents who know what Living will is, only 194 answered to this question (do you know how to perform the LW?); From these 50,4% know how to do it or how to find someone to help. Conclusions: More education strategies are needed to increase the knowledge about this citizen right.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberPO218
Pages (from-to)NP350-NP350
Number of pages1
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event9th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 9 Jun 201611 Jun 2016


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