Why is this an Essential Component?
Evidence for inclusion
Discussions about end of life issues and planning for care can be difficult for clinicians to initiate. These discussions are multifaceted and take into consideration a range of goals.
Research on end of life decision-making has identified six major types of patient goals:
- to be cured
- to live longer
- to improve or maintain function and/or quality of life
- to be comfortable
- to achieve life goals
- and to provide support for family and caregivers (Kaldjian et al, 2008).
There is also evidence that advance care planning positively impacts on the quality of end of life care. Complex advance care planning interventions involving multiple conversations and planning tools over time may be more effective in meeting patients’ preferences than written documents alone (Brinkman-Stoppelenburg et al, 2014).
The Agency for Clinical Innovation commissioned CareSearch (Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University) to identify local, national and international tools or resources that can potentially be used to implement each of the ten (10) Essential Components of Care within the Blueprint.
To be included, tools and resources were required to be in English, be applicable to the Australian context and be supported by evidence (such as published validation studies, clinical guidelines representing expert consensus, or advice from expert clinicians who were consulted).
The set of tools and resources provided is not intended to be exhaustive, nor is any one tool specifically recommended.
About the review process
Core palliative care tools
Advance Care Planning Australia
Australian website featuring information about how healthcare professionals can have conversations with people regarding their future healthcare desires in clinical settings. Includes links to recent publications pertaining to end-of-life care planning and practice implications.
Question Prompt List
An aid for cancer patients, the Question Prompt Lists (QPLs) encourage questioning, thereby assisting them to take up a more active role during visits with their medical specialist.
Physical / functional assessment - palliative care
Needs Assessment Tool: Progressive Disease (NAT-PD)
Clinical assessment tool aiming to assist in matching the types and levels of need experienced by people with progressive chronic diseases (e.g. cancer, heart failure, COPD) and their caregivers with the most appropriate people or services to address those needs.
Get it in Black & White Planning Ahead Tools
NSW Government website providing information related to advance care planning, preparing wills and other common questions for individuals, families and carers as well as health and legal professionals.
Case conferences / family meetings