School of Social Work and Institute on Aging, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave. McGuinn Hall, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.
Predicting a Partner's End-of-Life Preferences, or Substituting One's Own?
Article first published online: 20 MAY 2013
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2013
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 75, Issue 3, pages 734–745, June 2013
How to Cite
Moorman, S. M. and Inoue, M. (2013), Predicting a Partner's End-of-Life Preferences, or Substituting One's Own?. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75: 734–745. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12030
- Issue published online: 20 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 20 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 12 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 16 MAR 2012
- dyadic/couple data;
- families in middle and later life;
- multilevel models;
- relationship satisfaction;
- U.S. families
Numerous studies comparing patients' end-of-life health care treatment preferences with their surrogates' reports of those preferences indicate that partners do not know one another's treatment preferences: Random guesses are just as likely as surrogate choices to match the patients' preferences. The present study uses the empathic accuracy model and the assumed similarity model to shed further light on accuracy and bias in surrogate reports. The data come from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research/Knowledge Networks Pilot Study 2010, a national sample of 1,075 heterosexual American couples age 18 to 64. Surrogate reports were simultaneously biased (i.e., correlated with the surrogate's own preference) and accurate (i.e., correlated with the partner's actual preference). Higher relationship quality and legal marriage (vs. cohabitation) were associated with increased assumed similarity bias. These findings suggest that practitioners working in end-of-life care need to be familiar with their partnered patients' relationship dynamics.