Symptom Management

Managing symptoms is core business for palliative care. Nurses have a role to play in helping to achieve the best symptom control and optimum quality of life for patients.

Working with patients often on a daily basis, nurses are best placed to assess and monitor pain and symptoms and advocate for patients in regards to their care and management. Many services use pain assessment tools or the SAS (Symptom Assessment Scale) in their practice which facilitates tracking of symptoms from the patients’ perspective.

It is also important to recognise that not all symptoms will be physical, but could be psychological, social or spiritual, or have psychological, social or spiritual components.

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Relevant Studies


  • Current Learning in Palliative Care (CLIP) from St. Oswald's Hospice have 15 minute online tutorials available including: Constipation and Lymphoedema
  • End of Life care For All (e-ELCA) is an e-learning resource from the NHS (UK) designed to enhance the training and education of all those involved in delivering end-of-life care. They have sessions on assessment and Symptom management

Competencies / Training

Guidelines / Documents / Factsheets


Last updated 24 February 2020