chapter  Chapter 28
7 Pages

Reliability of Life Care Plans: A Comparison of Original and Updated Plans*

ByAmy M. Sutton, Paul M. Deutsch, Roger O. Weed, Debra E. Berens

This exploratory study examines the reliability of life care plans by comparing original and updated versions of 65 life care plans. The 65 anonymous participants, with varying diagnoses and backgrounds, each had an original and updated life care plan developed for them. The time between the original life care plan and the updated plan ranged from 1 to 5 years, with an average of 1.8 years. All life care plans were provided by two experienced and board-certified life care planners who follow the established standards and procedures within the industry, and the samples chosen included all applicable cases within the 5 years preceding the time the study began in Spring 2002. The Home/Facility Care and Routine Medical Care subsections of the life care plans were compared by assigning current year (2002) costs to the projected needs and then analyzing them using a chi-square statistical analysis. These subsections were selected since virtually all cases had entries in these two areas. Results reveal that the chi-squares for both Home/Facility Care and Routine Medical Care between the original and updated life care plans were found to be not significant at the .05 level. These results provide further evidence of reliability over time of life care planning in the areas of home/facility care and routine medical care when using established procedures.