Many health care providers understand goals of care conversations to be about an individual's wishes around specific medical decisions and interventions (e.g. preference for location of care, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, medications for relief of suffering). The Serious Illness Conversation Guide is a validated tool and guiding framework to assist clinicians in having more comprehensive goals of care conversations.
The Serious Illness Conversation explores what matters most to patients and allows clinicians to learn more about a patients' goals and values so that recommendations for care can be made based on what matters to the patient. (E.g. I've heard you say that you are worried about experiencing a lot of pain at the end of life. Keeping that in mind and with what we know about your illness, I recommend that we discuss options for pain management, including medication and non-medication supports).