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Palliat Med. 2008 Dec;22(8):956-64. doi: 10.1177/0269216308098797. Epub 2008 Oct 24.

Development of the palliative care needs assessment tool (PC-NAT) for use by multi-disciplinary health professionals.

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  • 1Centre for Health Research & Psycho-oncology, School of Medicine & Public Health, The Cancer Council NSW, University of Newcastle & Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.


Needs assessment strategies can facilitate prioritisation of resources. To develop a needs assessment tool for use with advanced cancer patients and caregivers, to prompt early intervation. A convenience sample of 103 health professionals viewed three videotaped consultations involving a simulated patient, his/her caregiver and a health professional, completed the Palliative Care Needs Assessment Tool (PC-NAT) and provided feedback on clarity, content and acceptability of the PC-NAT. Face and content validity, acceptability and feasibility of the PC-NAT were confirmed. Kappa scores indicated adequate inter-rater reliability for the majority of domains; the patient spirituality domain and the caregiver physical and family and relationship domains had low reliability. The PC-NAT can be used by health professionals with a range of clinical expertise to identify individuals' needs, thereby enabling early intervention. Further psychometric testing and an evaluation to assess the impact of the systematic use of the PC-NAT on quality of life, unmet needs and service utilisation of patients and caregivers are underway.

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