Depending on your needs, you may decide to read the pages all at once or refer only to the sections that are most relevant to you. Certain sections provide information that your family and friends may find useful as well.
In reading these pages, you may uncover issues you may not have discussed with your health care team. The Needs Assessment Tool – Patients (103kb pdf) & The Needs Assessment Tool – Families (105kb pdf) (NAT-P&F) is a short guide to help you and your family and friends identify some of these issues. It will guide you to where to find information which may help, or allow you to flag the issues of concern to be raised with members of your health care team.
Feel at ease to complete The Needs Assessment Tool – Patients (103kb pdf) & The Needs Assessment Tool – Families (105kb pdf) (NAT-P&F) and take it to your health professionals. Together you will be able to discuss areas where you and your family may need help, and where to find that help.
Complete this Needs Assessment as often as you think is necessary. The health professionals you discuss these issues with may vary along your cancer journey; it may be a doctor (doctor or specialist), a nurse, a naturopath, a dietician, a social worker, a psychologist or others and these tools may help them identify what you need. Your symptoms and needs may also change over time, so it is important for you and your team of health professionals to reassess your needs regularly and adjust your care plan to ensure you are as well and as happy, as you can be.
We have also included at the end of this booklet other assessment guides which are sometimes used by health care providers to better understand your needs and symptoms.
Many are available and we have only included the following few:
- Symptom Distress Scale (72kb pdf) may help you identify some of the physical symptoms you are experiencing.
- Fatigue Scale (74kb pdf) may help you to identify the level of fatigue you are experiencing.
- Pain Assessment Tool (179kb pdf) may help you better identify any pain you are experiencing.
- Emotion Thermometers may help you identify some of your emotional needs, including distress, anxiety, depression and anger.
- Helpless/Hopeless and Fighting Spirit Scales (68kb pdf) may help you further identify some of your specific emotional needs, particularly if you feel like giving up or think nothing else can be done.
These pages, including the assessment tools provided, recognise that your needs may not be limited to the disease itself and can include a broad range of issues such as emotional support or financial guidance.
The pages also includes suggestions about where you or your health professional may find more information about available local services to meet your needs.
Throughout this section key points are emphasised in boxes labelled Facts, Question and Answer (Q&A) and Tips. These are meant to further explain important issues and provide strategies to help you manage.
As you read this material, if there is a word you do not understand, please consult the glossary.
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Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.
Last updated 30 August 2015