Our research project focuses on how older adults in Switzerland look and engage in end-of-life care planning. We use nationally representative population-based data from the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and two questionnaires on end-of-life care issues developed by our research team. Based on a behavioral approach, we analyze the different factors related to individual decision making regarding advance care planning. We explore how psychosocial, family, regional, and health factors are involved in advance care planning behaviors. We also examine the role of informational (health literacy and end-of-life care knowledge) and attitudinal (preferences for end-of-life care) factors in advance care decisions. We further investigate how these decisions change over time (2015, 2019/2020) and what determinants are involved. This research project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

List of publications


Association between multiple chronic conditions and insufficient health literacy: cross-sectional evidence from a population-based sample of older adults living in Switzerland.

Wieczorek Maud, Meier Clément, Vilpert Sarah, Reinecke Robert, Borrat-Besson Carmen, Maurer Jürgen, Kliegel Matthias, 2023/02/06. BMC Public Health.



Perceptions and knowledge regarding medical situations at the end of life among older adults in Switzerland

Meier C., Vilpert S., Borasio G. D., Maurer J., Jox R. J., 2022/06/29. Journal of Palliative Medicine.


Health literacy among older adults in Switzerland: cross-sectional evidence from a nationally representative population-based observational study.

Meier C., Vilpert S., Borrat-Besson C., Jox R.J., Maurer J., 2022/03/28. Swiss medical weekly, 152 pp. w30158.


Knowledge Gaps in End-of-Life Care and Planning Options Among Older Adults in Switzerland.

Vilpert S., Borasio G.D., Maurer J., 2022. International journal of public health, 67 p. 1604676.


7th Public Health Palliative Care International Conference. Democratizing caring, dying and grieving: participation, action, understanding and evaluation

Vilpert S., 2022/01. Palliative Care and Social Practice, 16 p. 263235242211199.


Dimensions of end-of-life preferences in the Swiss general population aged 55+

Borrat-Besson C., Vilpert S., Jox R.J., Borasio G.D., Maurer J., 2022/08/02. Age and ageing, 51 (8) pp. afac162.



Social, cultural and experiential patterning of attitudes and behaviour towards assisted suicide in Switzerland: evidence from a national population-based study.

Vilpert S., Bolliger E., Borrat-Besson C., Borasio G.D., Maurer J., 2020/06/15. Swiss medical weekly, 150 pp. w20275.


Associations of end-of-life preferences and trust in institutions with public support for assisted suicide evidence from nationally representative survey data of older adults in Switzerland

Vilpert S., Borrat-Besson C., Borasio G. D., Maurer J., 2020/04/23. PLOS ONE, 15 (4) pp. e0232109.


End-of-life care and planning in Switzerland: What older adults think, know and do

Vilpert S., 2020., Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine, Maurer J. (dir.).


Views on a “Good Death”: End-of-Life Preferences and Their Association With Socio-Demographic Characteristics in a Representative Sample of Older Adults in Switzerland.

Borrat-Besson C., Vilpert S., Borasio G.D., Maurer J., 2022/06. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying pp. 409-428.



Awareness, approval and completion of advance directives in older adults in Switzerland

Vilpert S., Borrat-Besson C., Maurer J., Borasio G. D., 2018/07/29. Swiss Medical Weekly, 148.


Submitted papers

Development and validation of a subjective end-of-life health literacy scale

Meier C., Vilpert S., Wieczorek M., Borrat-Besson C., Jox R. J., Maurer J. Submitted to the journal Plos One. 

Overestimation of success rates of cardiopulmonary resuscitation is associated with higher preferences to be resuscitated: evidence from a national survey of older adults in Switzerland 

Meier C., Vilpert S., Wieczorek M., Borasio G., Jox R. J., Maurer J. Submitted to the journal Age and Ageing. 

Relationship between health literacy and unhealthy lifestyle behaviours in older adults living in Switzerland: does social connectedness matter?

Wieczorek M., Meier C., Kliegel M., Maurer J. Submitted to the International Journal of Public Health. 

End-of-life care planning: a story of trust within the family

Iuniuss L., Vilpert S., Meier C., Borasio G.D., Maurer J. Submitted to International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Older adults’ medical preferences for the end of life: a cross-sectional representative survey in Switzerland.

Vilpert S., Meier C., Berche J., Borasio G.D., Jox R., Maurer J. Submitted to BMJ Open.

Cognitive Abilities and Attitudes/Behaviors towards End-of-Life Care Planning in Older Adults: Evidence from a Swiss National Population Study.

Reinecke R., Vilpert S., Borasio G.D., Jox R., Maurer J. Submitted to Psychology and Aging.

Perceptions, connaissances et compétences de santé en matière de soins de fin de vie dans un échantillon représentatif d’adultes âgés de 58 ans et plus en Suisse.

Meier C., Vilpert S., Borrat-Besson C., Borasio G.D., Jox R., Maurer J.. Book chapter for Ouvrage collectif : les soins palliatifs à travers les humanités médicales.

Préférences, communication et planification des soins de fin de vie : qu’en est-il chez les adultes âgés en Suisse?

Vilpert S., Meier C., Borasio G.D., Jox R., Maurer J. Book chapter for Ouvrage collectif : les soins palliatifs à travers les humanités médicales.

Health literacy across personality traits among older adults: cross-sectional evidence from Switzerland.

Ryser V., Meier C., Vilpert S., Maurer J. Submitted to European Journal of Ageing