The Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016: What is the role for allied health professionals? Academic Article uri icon


  • Advance care planning is increasingly common practice in contemporary health care for individuals living with a chronic condition. Currently, limited research has been conducted into how newly adopted legislation in Victoria, Australia, facilitates advance care planning. The purpose of this study was to explore the uptake of the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 in the primary care setting. The study also aimed to explore barriers that allied health professionals encounter when practicing advance care planning with patients. Four interdisciplinary focus groups and two in-depth interviews with participants were conducted and thematically analysed using an interpretivist inquiry paradigm. Analysis revealed two key themes: promoting client wellbeing and scope of practice. The data suggest that advance care planning by allied health professionals in the primary care setting is limited. Focussing on enhancing clients’ wellbeing was more important than the development of advanced care directives. Attempting to promote the wellbeing of patients may foster hesitation to commence advance care planning in primary care. This study demonstrated that knowledge of the fundamental legislative changes are evident among allied health professionals which provides a foundation for successful development of advance care planning post implementation of the new Act.

publication date

  • September 25, 2020