Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2019 Dec;22(4):198-206. 10.14475/kjhpc.2019.22.4.198.

Preference and Performance Fidelity of Modified Korean Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MK-POLST) Items in Hospice Patients with Cancer

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Korea. newatp@gnu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Nursing, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Korea.
  • 3Regional Cardiocerebrovascular Disease Center, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Korea.
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Health Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea.


The Act on Hospice and Palliative Care and Decisions on Life-sustaining Treatment for Patients at the End of Life was enacted in 2016 and has taken effect since 2018 February. The content of this act was based on Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) in the United States and we modified it for terminal cancer patients registering hospice. The object of this study is to investigate preference and implementation rate for modified Korean POLST (MMK-POLST) items in hospice ward.
From February 1, 2017 to April 30, 2019, medical records regarding MMK-POLST were retrospectively analyzed for all patients hospitalized in the hospice ward of Gyeongsang National University Hospital.
Of the eligible 387 total cohorts, 295 patients filled out MK-POLST. MK-POLST has been completed in 133 cases (44.1%) by the patient themselves, 84 cases (28.5%) by the spouse, and 75 cases (25.4%) by their children, respectively. While only 13 (4.4%) out of 295 MK-POLST completed patients refused the parenteral nutrition and 5 patients (1.7%) for palliative sedation, the absolute majority of 288 (97.6%) patients did not want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and ventilators and 226 people (76.9%) for pressor medications. Kappa values for the matched strength of MK-POLST implementation were poor for all items except CPR, ventilators and palliative sedation.
Hospice patients refused to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ventilators and pressor agents. In contrast, antibiotics, parenteral nutrition and palliative sedation were favored in the majority of patients.


Advance care planning; Advance directives; Hospice care; Terminal care; Mechanical ventilators; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

MeSH Terms

Advance Care Planning
Advance Directives
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Cohort Studies
Hospice Care
Medical Records
Palliative Care
Parenteral Nutrition
Retrospective Studies
Terminal Care
United States
Ventilators, Mechanical
Anti-Bacterial Agents
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