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The measurement of, and tools for, pain and other symptoms 

The measurement of, and tools for, pain and other symptoms
The measurement of, and tools for, pain and other symptoms

Jane M. Ingham

, Helen M. Moore

, Jane L. Phillips

, and Russell K. Portenoy

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date: 16 May 2022

Symptom assessment is an essential element of good clinical care as it is a key step in the diagnostic process and in the development and implementation of a management plan aimed towards reducing illness burden and suffering. Furthermore, symptom assessment is crucial for testing of therapeutic interventions in clinical research particularly in palliative care research. A number of important factors must be considered, including the subjective nature of symptoms and subtle differences in meaning of symptom descriptors. To aid symptom assessment, an array of instruments has been validated for various symptoms and various patient populations. Instrument selection must be guided by an understanding of the goals of assessment and the practicality, applicability, acceptability, and validity of the instrument in the particular setting and population. This chapter addresses the complexities of symptom assessment and provides an overview of some of the available symptom instruments for consideration for use in palliative care settings.

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