Core Modules

Palliative care symptoms should be identified early and through impeccable assessment.[1-3] Initial and ongoing assessment incorporates the person’s physical, psychological, cultural, social and spiritual experiences and needs.[2, 3] A management plan is developed, implemented and evaluated considering individual circumstances and goals of care. Evidence-based palliative care interventions are associated with improvements in quality of life and a reduction in symptom burden.[4-7]

Case Study: Herbert's Story YouTube Playlist


Module 3: Assessing and managing symptoms will help you develop the knowledge and skills required to identify the health needs of people affected by life-limiting illness. This resource will also help to develop an understanding of the principles for managing common symptoms in palliative care.

Aims and Objectives:

After completing this module, you should be able to:

  • Explain the principles for assessing and managing common symptoms and health concerns associated with life-limiting illness
  • Summarise evidence-based pain assessment and management strategies relevant to your profession.

Record of Participation



  1. World Health Organization. Definition of Palliative Care. 2017  [cited 2017 March 13]; Available from:
  2. Palliative Care Australia. National Palliative Care Standards. 2018; 5th Edition:[Available from:].
  3. Palliative Care Australia. Palliative Care Service Development Guidelines. 2018; Available from:
  4. Kavalieratos, D., et al., Association Between Palliative Care and Patient and Caregiver Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 2016. 316(20): p. 2104-2114.
  5. Oliver, D., Improving patient outcomes through palliative care integration in other specialised health services: what we have learned so far and how can we improve? Annals of Palliative Medicine, 2018: p. S219-S230.
  6. Wilkie, D.J. and M.O. Ezenwa, Pain and Symptom Management in Palliative Care and at End of Life. Nursing outlook, 2012. 60(6): p. 357-364.
  7. Murray, S.A., et al., Palliative care from diagnosis to death. BMJ, 2017. 356.