Systematically assessing a patient's unmet needs

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Published: 13 Nov 2015
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Prof Miriam Johnson - University of Hull, Hull, UK

Prof Johnson talks to ecancertv at NCRI 2015 about how a more systematic approach to assessing patients' health and wellbeing is extremely effective.

When patients are asked open questions such as "how are you?" they may withhold a lot of information, not realising what the doctor regards as useful and valid.

When patients were asked in a rigorous and systematic way about their mental state, financial situation, physical ailments, care and carers, sexual concerns etc, people would report on average ten issues instead of only one.

She argues that this approach is valuable as a monitoring tool to chart improvements and as a great way of addressing unmet needs and providing the crucial support needed for people to live "as long as they can, as best as they can".