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Palliative Care Toolkit

Best-practice tools from around the world are provided here to support primary care providers with palliative care delivery.

3-Step Best Practice Model

The palliative care tools are organized according to the 3-step model of best practice proposed by the Gold Standards Framework used in the United Kingdom.

Step 1: Identify

Identify if the patient would benefit from palliative care earlier in their illness trajectory using one of the following tools:

Refer to our Tools to Support Earlier Identification for Palliative Care for more information about each of these tools.

Step 2: Assess

Assess the person’s current and future needs and preferences across all domains of care. Assessment should include validated screening tools, an in-depth history, physical examination and relevant laboratory and imaging tests.

Screening Tools

Use validated screening tools to identify if the patient, their family or caregiver have any needs that require urgent intervention. Type and timeliness of screening  will depend on the severity, extent of life interference, urgency and complexity of the symptoms or needs identified.

Holistic Assessment

Explore symptoms and needs across all domains in more detail through history and examination. Specific details on domains are described in Domains of Issues Associated with Illness and Bereavement (PDF). Continue to screen regularly for distress and other needs.

Conversation and Consent Tools

Use the results of screening and assessment to prompt further discussions about a person’s wishes, values, beliefs, understanding of wellness and any illnesses, and goals for current and future care. These conversations are ongoing and should be revisited regularly.

Step 3: Plan and Manage

Plan and collaborate ongoing care to address needs identified during the assessment. This includes prompt management of symptoms and coordination with other care providers.

Ontario Documents & Forms

The following documents and forms are Ontario-specific resources that may be required as part of the care provided.

Other Palliative Care Tools

These are additional palliative care tools created by Cancer Care Ontario and other organizations.