Support sheet 16

Holistic Assessment
Holistic assessment ensures that all the needs of a person are known so those caring...
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Support Sheet 16: Holistic Assessment

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Support Sheet 16: Holistic Assessment
This support sheet covers the key elements of holistic assessment.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Support Sheet 16: Holistic Assessment

  1. 1. Support sheet 16 Holistic Assessment Holistic assessment ensures that all the needs of a person are known so those caring for them can respond accordingly. It identifies unmet needs and provides for a multidisciplinary and co-ordinated response. A holistic assessment allows the individual and their families to consider all aspects of care and plan for the future. Assessment should be ‘concerns-led’ and flexible to respond to new circumstances. When should the assessment happen? Assessment is a continual process, beginning when it is recognised the individual is entering the end of life phase. It should be repeated whenever the individual or a professional considers it necessary. Sharing information Assessment records should be shared with the individual’s consent and with other professionals following the principles of role-based access. This minimises the need for tiring repetition of questions. Who should conduct the assessment? The assessor should: ! Have an appropriate level of knowledge of the condition, symptoms and likely progression ! Have a recognised level of competence in assessment ! Be well informed about local health and social service providers, referral criteria and support services ! Be aware of the role of advance care planning. What should be assessed? There are five key ‘domains’ to a full assessment and their importance might change as the person moves along the care pathway. These are: ! Background information and assessment preferences (often drawing on the individual’s care record and previous assessments) ! Physical needs (discuss possible future symptoms but emphasise they are not inevitable) ! Social/occupational needs (e.g. family, social life and money issues) ! Psychological wellbeing (the assessment should start with an exploratory question that invites the individual to identify any concerns) ! Spiritual wellbeing and life goals (with sensitivity to cultural differences). Find out about the e-learning modules in end of life care at: http://www.e-elca.org.uk A holistic assessment guide is available at: http://www.endoflifecareforadults.nhs.uk/publications/holisticcommonassessment

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