Palliative Care  |  Complex Patient

Palliative Care

Complex Patient

The following questions might be appropriate to help determine the complexity of the palliative care required and therefore help determine if a hospice should be involved. Please use this along with the hospice referral criteria as linked to below:

Area of patient's experience Suggested assessment question
Physical symptoms What symptom bothers you most?
Pain How much pain have you had in the last week?
Depression Are you feeling depressed?
Financial Is your illness causing much financial hardship to you or your family?

How much help do you need with your personal care?

How much help have you needed from someone in your family?

Social support

Is there someone you can confide in and talk to about yourself or your problems? 

How often is there someone to have a good time with?


Do you have a faith?

Since your illness have you become more or less spiritual or religious?

Hopes & expectations

Is there a something special, like an event, that would add a great deal of meaning to your life?

Advance care planning

Have you talked to your family, or anyone, about your preferences for medical care in case of a life-threatening situation?

*References; Emanuel EJ, Emanuel LL. The promise of a good death. (review) Lancet 1998;351 Suppl 2:SII21-9

The Bay Navigator pathway offers GPs options for offering patients assistance with these many and varied aspects of care. Where a patient has multiple areas requiring support, this may be a time to involve the hospice.

Last updated : Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Next review date : Wednesday, August 22,2018

Disclaimer: This site is intended to be flexible and frequently updated. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, all information should be verified.