Below you will find relevant assessment and reference tools to support your clinical practice. If you would like a tool added to this list, please email

Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) (pdf)
The ESAS is a valid and reliable assessment tool to assist in the assessment of nine common symptoms experienced by cancer patients. The ESAS is one of the key assessment tools used in Palliative Care.

The National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly has some excellent tools to support palliative / end of life care.

Palliative Performance Scale (PPS)
The PPS is a valid, reliable functional assessment tool that provides a framework for measuring progressive decline in palliative patients.

Early Identification Model
The model that is being implemeted thoughout the South West

Palliative Pain and Symptom Management: Pocket Reference Guide and Reference Material
This Guide provides pain and symptom management information (not medical advice). This guide was developed as general information for physicians and registered nurses with palliative care expertise.

Palliative Care for Older People: Better Practices has been published by the World Health Organization which outlines the need for good palliative care with older people and provides examples of better practices.

Legislation and Ontario Specific Guides:
Health Care Consent Act
Substitute Decision Act
Consent and Capacity Board
Advance Care Planning Workbook
Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat: A Guide to Advance Care Planning

Key Website Resources:
The Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE)
Speak Up: Start the Conversation about end-of-life care
Speak Up Infographic

Informative Articles and Pamphlets:
25 Common Misconceptions about the Substitute Decisions Act and Health Care Consent Act
Advance Care Planning and End of Life Decision-Making
Health Care Consent and Advance Care Planning: Fairly Good Law and Good Intent, but Not Always Good Practice

Links to Healthcare Professional Practice Resources:
For Nurses: CNO Practice Guideline on Consent
For Physicians: CPSO: Consent to Medical Treatment policy #4-05
For Social Workers/ Social Service Workers: Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice