Spotlight on Research

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Online event

Routine Clinical Assessment of Psycho-Existential Symptoms in Supportive and Palliative Care

About this event

Routine Clinical Assessment of Psycho-Existential Symptoms in Supportive and Palliative Care

Screening with the Psycho-existential Symptom Assessment Scale

A National Palliative Care Project

Date: Thursday 3 November 2.00pm - 3.00pm

Please be online and ready for the webinar to open at 2.00 pm.

Venue: Virtual

Designed for

Doctors, Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses, Allied Health Professionals, Facility Managers, Pastoral Care Workers, Aboriginal Health Workers


Join us to hear about the developments of this exciting new palliative care project. This project has been led by Professor David Kissane AC for The University of Notre Dame Australia, The Cunningham Centre at St Vincent’s Sydney and Cabrini Health, Melbourne.

This project has been brought to Perth and will be implemented into two WA sites, Royal Perth Hospital and Murdoch Hospice. Dr Alison White will present this Spotlight on Research and share the experiences from its implementation at Murdoch Hospice.  

“Patients with unrecognised depression, unaddressed demoralization and unabating anxiety account for some of the most vulnerable patients in palliative care. Despite effective, evidence-based treatments being available, non-recognition has been a major barrier. These under-served patients form a population in dire need of treatments to optimise their adjustment and prevent suicidal thinking. Several evidence-based medication and counselling approaches are available to effectively help these patients, but these remain underutilised in palliative care. This is compounded by a lack of focus on the education of frontline staff on this area, with the majority of face-to-face or e-learning resources for palliative care lacking any of these components. 

This education and knowledge translation project has two objectives: 

  • To roll out online and face-to face educational workshops across states and territories to train and upskill clinicians (nurses, physicians, psychosocial health providers) about how to explore and discuss psycho-existential symptoms, treat or refer to appropriate expertise; 
  • Train services to assess for unmet psycho-existential need through the 10-item Psycho-Existential Symptom Assessment Scale, which uses six items that assess Demoralization and existential concerns and four items assessing other psychosocial issues.”

Psychosocial and Existential Wellbeing in Palliative Care (

Presented by:

Dr Alison White , Palliative Care Physician

Alison will be joined by her colleagues