Identifying and assessing clients

In the integrated model of palliative care, individuals who could benefit from a palliative approach are identified early in the illness trajectory, so their physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs are met throughout their illness journey.

Early identification of a palliative approach to care can help ensure:

  • client needs are identified earlier in the illness which in turn improves quality of life and allows clients to receive care in a location of their choice;
  • improved pain and symptom management; and
  • fewer hospital admissions and ER visits.

If you are unsure whether your client could benefit from a palliative approach, ask yourself, “Would I be surprised if this person died within the next six to 12 months?”

If your answer is no, the client would likely benefit from a palliative approach to care.

The Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool (PDF) and the clinical frailty scale may also help you to determine if an individual can benefit from a palliative approach.

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Last updated: 2022-12-15