3. Comprehensive assessment

Support the evaluation of physical, environmental, social, cultural, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual needs

Comprehensive assessment enables the evaluation of physical, environmental, social, cultural, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual needs. Comprehensive assessment can also determine the need for inclusion of an Aboriginal liaison officer or palliative care Aboriginal health worker, as required, or the use of the Health Care Interpreter Service.


Processes are in place to ensure comprehensive, culturally appropriate and holistic assessment is undertaken for all people identified as having end of life and/or palliative care needs.


Comprehensive assessment is important to facilitate identification of all End of life and palliative care needs for the person, their family and carers throughout their experience.

Considerations and resources

Holistic assessment should be multidisciplinary and occur through a combination of dedicated services or specified referral pathways to existing services, as appropriate. This may require virtual care access where resources are limited.

Assessment is to include use of a validated symptom assessment tool, distress screening tool, and a screening or assessment tool for identification of carer needs, availability and capability.

Examples of assessment tools include Resource Utilisation Groups-Activities of Daily Living (RUG-ADL), Australia-modified Karnofsky Performance Status (AMKPS), Symptom Assessment Scale (SAS) and Palliative Care Problem Severity Score (PCPSS).


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Care

Resources and information to help the healthcare workforce and carers provide palliative care.

CareSearch | Information | 2017

Dignity, Respect and Choice: Advance Care Planning for End of Life for People with a Mental Illness

Support people with mental illness with complex issues around advance care planning.

NSW Ministry of Health | Toolkit | 2015

Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration: Assessment forms

Five tools that help assess the characteristics and needs of patients.

University of Wollongong | Clinical tool | 2021

Supportive Care - Into the Dreaming

A guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through 'Sorry Business'.

Hunter New England Local Health District | Toolkit | 2019

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