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Symptom Assessment and Management Tools

These tools help healthcare providers monitor and manage their patients’ symptoms more effectively, regardless of where they are in their cancer journey.  

Get the Updated Symptom Management Guides (SMGs) Mobile App!

Quickly find and use best practices for symptom assessment and control at the patient’s bedside. We’ve updated the SMG app based on testing and feedback from healthcare practitioners like you, and we’ve given it a fresh look too! (The SMG content remains the same.)

Download the free app on your mobile device: Apple iOS ; Android; Windows Phone

Use the app on your computer:

Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS)

A valid and reliable assessment tool to screen for the intensity of nine common symptoms experienced by cancer patients: pain, tiredness, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, appetite, well-being and shortness of breath.

Patients can report their ESAS scores electronically at many regional cancer centres using ISAAC. Find out more about ISAAC (Interactive Symptom Assessment and Collection)

The ESAS tool has been translated into many languages. Please select the language you would to use.

  ESAS Tool -

Note: You must allow pop-ups in your browser to download these files.

Patient Reported Functional Status (PRFS)

A patient’s functional status helps to assess the disease progression and how it may be affecting the daily living abilities of the patient.

The Patient Reported Functional Status (PRFS) assessment tool asks patients to rate their functional status over a month through a single question on a five-point scale. The scale ranges from normal with no limitations to bedridden (rarely out of bed).

The PRFS is a version of the ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group) Performance Status scoring system, but is expressed in layuncomplicated language and designed to be completed by the patient. PRFS is unique among functional status tools in that it is patient-reported, leading to higher understanding of a patient’s condition.

PRFS has been translated into many languages to be made easily available and accessible to patients.

Patients can complete the PRFS electronically at many regional cancer centres using ISAAC. Find out more about ISAAC .

    PRFS Tool -

    Note: You must allow pop-ups in your browser to download these files.

Symptom Management Guides

Symptom Management Guides help healthcare professionals assess and appropriately manage a patient's cancer-related symptoms.

Also available: condensed summaries in Pocket Guide format; 2-page Algorithms for each symptom; iPhone app; Windows Phone 7 app

Nausea & Vomiting
Loss of Appetite
Bowel Care
Oral Care
Anxiety **
Depression **
Fatigue **
Sleep Disturbances**
Combined: Delirium, Dyspnea, Nausea & Vomiting, Pain, Loss of Appetite, Bowel Care and Oral Care
* We recommend printing Pocket Guides in "booklet" format, available via most printer's properties or preferences. 
** Developed by the Cancer Journey Advisory Group and the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology, with support from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, in collaboration with the Ontario Cancer Symptom Management Collaborative.

These tools represent current evidence and best practice and replace previously published guidelines distributed through CCO, including the Telephone Nursing Practice and Symptom Management Guidelines and KFL&A Palliative Care Integration Project Symptom Management Guidelines .

Last modified: Fri, Jul 15, 2016
cancer care ontario | action cancer ontario   620 University Avenue Toronto Ontario, Canada M5G 2L7   Phone: 416.971.9800 Fax: 416.971.6888

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