Holistic Needs Assessment and Care Planning

  • Karin PiilEmail author
  • Lena Rosenlund


The complexity of symptoms, needs and concerns experienced by brain tumour patients and their informal caregivers requires a timely and coordinated response from healthcare services and providers. The holistic needs assessment is a systematic way of conducting an overall assessment together with the patient and caregiver, which involves an approach that covers all domains of care.

It is imperative that clinical specialists are familiar with the needs, preferences and interests of patients and their caregivers in order to provide the best possible care. Advance care planning involves (together with the patient and their caregivers) thinking about, talking about and planning for the future, including end-of-life decisions. Determining the appropriate timing for these discussions is, however, problematic and is discussed in this chapter.

This chapter presents key areas of interest when conducting a holistic needs assessment and emphasises the need to determine the future direction of advance care planning research within neuro-oncology in order to establish evidence-based, best clinical practice.


Holistic needs assessment Relatives Symptom management Concerns Advance care planning Tools Measurements 



Advance care planning


Distress thermometer


End of life


European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer


Functional assessment of cancer therapy-brain


Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale


Holistic needs assessment


Health-related quality of life


Malignant brain tumour


MD Anderson Symptom Inventory for Brain Tumour


Mishel uncertainty in illness scale-brain tumour


National Comprehensive Cancer Network/Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain Symptom Index


Patient concerns inventory


Prognostic information


Patient-reported experience measures


Patient-reported outcome


Quality of life


Sherbrooke Neuro-Oncology Assessment Scale


Sheffield Profile for Assessment and Referral for Care


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oncology 5074Copenhagen University Hospital, RigshospitaletCopenhagen ØDenmark
  2. 2.Regionalt Cancercentrum Stockholm – GotlandStockholmSweden

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