i-GAP is a research project that is intended to increase the participation of patients and families in Advance Care Planning (ACP) in primary care settings. Our goal is to improve the quantity and quality of advance care planning in primary care.

Read more about the project and why it's important in Canadian Family Physician.


Did you know? 60% of Canadians want their healthcare provider to give them information about advance care planning, but only 26% of primary care physicians are comfortable having those discussions, and 67% of primary care physicians say they need more resources and information.1,2 Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the process of considering options for future health care decisions and personal care, and the nomination of a substitute decision maker who can speak for them if they cannot speak for themselves.



Comments from participants in the i-GAP study: 

  • "I don't want a 'parent' making decisions, I want my voice to be paramount, not their interests. Awareness of the decision and urgency to address today so it is my voice heard. I don't want to be powerless and trapped in a life I don't want to live."
  • "My mind and heart are having a conversation I didn't want to have.  It's a good thing. I need to address this."
  • "I felt good that I had made that decision, that it had been communicated and the rest of the family knows who that person is. I found it helpful and I was appreciative that people are working on this. I have friends who haven't made that decision and say 'my family will know'."
  • "Made me realize that planning for these kinds of events isn't just an insular experience. All of the people who care about you should know so that they understand and are more comfortable with what is taking place so that they can provide support to those who are intimately involved.  It would be sad for me if my friends were saying to my family, "You're making the wrong decision."




Read about Dr. Carrie Bernard, a family physician and one of the founding researchers for the i-GAP project.

Read Dr. Amy Tan's story about palliative care (Dr. Tan is a member of the i-GAP steering committee)

Read the i-GAP team's opinion article in Canadian Family Physician - "Advance Care Planning - let's start sooner"

Read about Dr. Zou and her experience with the i-GAP study.

Read about Older patient engagement in advance care planning in Canadian primary care practices: Results of a multisite survey by Michelle Howard, Carrie Bernard, Doug Klein, Amy Tan, Marissa Slaven, Doris Barwich, John J. You, Gabriel Asselin, Jessica Simon and Daren K. Heyland


Study Tools:



Information Sheet Information Sheet
Poster Poster
Practice Characteristics Chart Abstraction Form
Physician Questionnaire Questionnaire
Nursing and Allied Health Care Professionals Questionnaire  




1. Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, The Way Forward Survey: General/Family Practitioners and Nurses in Primary Care, for The Way Forward initiative, Ipsos Reid: 2014.

2. Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, What Canadians Say: The Way Forward Survey Report, for The Way Forward initiative, Harris/Decima: 2013.        



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