City Research Online

Use, usability, and impact of a card-based conversation tool to support communication about end-of-life preferences in residential elder care - a qualitative study of staff experiences

Johansson, T., Tishelman, C., Eriksson, L. E. ORCID: 0000-0001-5121-5325 , Cohen, J. & Goliath, I. (2022). Use, usability, and impact of a card-based conversation tool to support communication about end-of-life preferences in residential elder care - a qualitative study of staff experiences. BMC Geriatrics, 22(1), 274. doi: 10.1186/s12877-022-02915-w


BACKGROUND: Proactive conversations about individual preferences between residents, relatives, and staff can support person-centred, value-concordant end-of-life (EOL) care. Nevertheless, prevalence of such conversations is still low in residential care homes (RCHs), often relating to staff's perceived lack of skills and confidence. Using tools may help staff to facilitate EOL conversations. While many EOL-specific tools are script-based and focus on identifying and documenting treatment priorities, the DöBra card tool is developed to stimulate reflection and conversation about EOL care values and preferences. In this study, we explore staff's experiences of use, usability, and perceived impact of the DöBra cards in supporting discussion about EOL care in RCH settings. METHODS: This qualitative study was based on data from two participatory action research processes in which RCH staff tested and evaluated use of DöBra cards in EOL conversations. Data comprise 6 interviews and 8 group meetings with a total of 13 participants from 7 facilities. Qualitative content analysis was performed to identify key concepts in relation to use, usability, and impact of the DöBra cards in RCH practice. RESULTS: Based on participants' experiences of using the DöBra cards as an EOL conversation tool in RCHs, we identified three main categories in relation to its usefulness. Outcomes of using the cards (1) included the outlining of content of conversations and supporting connection and development of rapport. Perceived impact (2) related to enabling openings for future communication and aligning care goals between stakeholders. Use and usability of the cards (3) were influenced by supporting and limiting factors on the personal and contextual level. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates how the DöBra cards was found to be useful by staff for facilitating conversations about EOL values, influencing both the content of discussion and interactions between those present. The tool encouraged reflection and interaction, which staff perceived as potentially helpful in building preparedness for future care-decision making. The combination of providing a shared framework and being adaptable in use appeared to be key features for the DöBra cards usability in the RCH setting.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Publisher Keywords: Palliative care, Advance care planning, Person-centered care, Go wish cards, Patient-provider communication, Qualitative research, Content analysis
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login