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Validated assessment tools for psychological, spiritual, and family issues 

Validated assessment tools for psychological, spiritual, and family issues
Validated assessment tools for psychological, spiritual, and family issues

Linda L. Emanuel

, Richard A. Powell

, George Handzo

, Kelly Nichole Michelson

, and Lara Dhingra

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date: 16 May 2022

Palliative care has a foundational commitment to integrate attention to psychological, spiritual, and family issues with biomedical matters. This requires being able to measure them. A limited number of assessment tools have been subjected to validity studies. Many measures are for service assessment, including assessments made as part of quality improvement; but a range of rigorously developed measures, including patient-reported outcome measures, is available. Those that are multidimensional and feasible in the real world of patient care are fewer. Domain-specific screening and measurement tools that focus on depression, anxiety, and a more generalized state of psychological distress as well as spirituality are described. Additional tools for measuring delirium and adjustment disorders or grief and bereavement are referenced. While rigorous, comprehensive family assessments and measures are not available, multiple measures that focus on particular aspects of family need and function are described.

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