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NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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Rebecca Sudore, MD

Staff Physician, Geriatrics Service, SFVAMC
Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF

Email: Rebecca.Sudore@va.gov

Health Literacy, Medical Decision-Making, and End-of-Life Care

Rebecca has dedicated her research program to making medical information easier for patients and their families to understand. She published the first prospective study demonstrating the effect of limited literacy on mortality in the elderly, and has shown that elders with limited literacy have greater difficulty making medical decisions for informed consent and advance care planning. She has also designed and tested an informed consent process for patients with limited literacy and an advance directive that is both literacy and culturally appropriate. Both interventions have been shown to benefit patients - particularly those with literacy and/or language barriers. Even though her low-literate advance directive has been translated and widely disseminated, further research with patients and surrogate decision makers helped her realize that advance directives alone are not enough. She also published a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine calling for a shift in advance care planning from “do-not-resuscitate” checklists to preparing patients and their loved ones for medical decision making. Her current research program is focused on designing and testing interactive, web-based interventions to prepare patients and their surrogate decision makers to make difficult medical decisions. She recently created the PREPARE website (www.prepareforyourcare.org) that walks patients and families through an easy 5-step program to help people identify what is most important in life and to be able to communicate that effectively with loved ones and clinicians.

 

To see Dr. Sudore on Pub Med, click here.