Assessment and management of physical symptoms is a major focus of palliative care, as poorly controlled pain or nausea can seriously affect a patient's quality of life. It can also reduce their ability to maintain physical functioning which then affects all aspects of their daily life. Symptoms in this section include items from the symptom assessment scale  used in the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaborative.
Moreover, the definitions of palliative care by both the World Health Organization and Palliative Care Australia recognise that suffering may not only be physical, and that care needs to include psychological, spiritual and social care and support. Providing comprehensive care requires an understanding of the specific needs and circumstances of the individual patient.
The pages are developed following an examination of the research evidence for the symptom as described in systematic reviews relevant to the topic. The systematic reviews were identified following a search for topic based systematic reviews in four databases - OvidSP MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Embase.