Assessing Family and Caregivers

Key points

  • In order for a person to remain at home as a terminal illness progresses, they require practical help and increasing care from family and friends, as well as community services such as home nursing.
  • Palliative care support is provided not just to the patient, but also to their family and carers.
  • The goal of assesment of caregivers is to monitor their wellbeing in a stressful situation, to help them understand what is happening and what is likely to happen, to support self-efficacy and coping strategies, and to offer timely referral.
  • Consider early referral to specialist palliative care for distressed or overwhelmed caregivers.


NAT-C and Nat-CC Needs Assessment Tools for Caregivers

The NAT-C and NAT-CC are tools that caregivers can self-complete, indicating their concerns and topics they would like to discuss with their GP or other health care provider.

Ref: Mitchell G, Girgis A, Jiwa M, Sibbritt D, Burridge L. 2012.

NAT-PD Needs Assessment Tools for Patients

The NAT-PD (128kb pdf) can be completed by health care professionals.

Ref: Centre for Health Research and Psycho-oncology (CHeRP). 2010.

Caring for Someone With Cancer

Caring for Someone with Cancer (396kb pdf).

A resource for patients that addresses carers' needs and issues

Ref: Cancer Council Australia. Caring for someone with cancer. Surry Hills (NSW): Cancer Council Australia; 2011 Dec.

Last updated 12 February 2020