Managing Symptoms

A comprehensive assessment of symptoms is required before a management plan can be put in place. Palliative care patients often have quite complex problems that do not always respond to conventional treatments.

Symptoms can be physical, psycho-social or spiritual and are often best managed through a multidisciplinary approach. Prioritising which symptoms need to be addressed first may help to improve the patient’s quality of life, without introducing too many interventions all at once. The patients’ priorities may be different from those that you identify.

Specific symptoms that Allied Health Professionals may be involved in include: Fatigue management, dyspnoea, pain, mobility, pressure areas, anxiety, dysphagia and communication, anorexia.
 

  

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Fact Sheets / Brochures

Websites

  • The Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U) program has a Learning Module on Symptom Assessment
  • The Australian Pain Management Association has information on Choosing a pain management team that is applicable to the palliative care environment
  • Current Learning in Palliative Care (CLIP) has 15 minute online tutorials on the following symptoms: 
    • Constipation
    • Fatigue
    • Lethargy
    • Drowsiness and Weakness
    • Breathlessness
    • Oral Problems
    • Nausea and Vomiting
    • Bowel Obstruction
    • Oedema
    • Lymphoedema
    • Confusion.
  • The Breathlessness Intervention Service (UK) may have some useful resources
     

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Last updated 12 May 2017