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End of Life Care 4: Assessing Psychosocial Needs in End of Life Care

End of Life Care 4: Assessing Psychosocial Needs in End of Life Care

Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
Doris Chechotka-McQuade, PhD, Tarae Waddell-Terry, MS, Shawn Calkins, PhD
Geriatric Education Center (GEC)
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
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Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 

Psychosocial supports are formal and informal activities and relationships that provide for the needs of humans in their efforts to live in society and include education, healthcare, income security, social networks (i.e. family), and mental health (Barker, 2003). Service Providers from all professions need to pay attention to the who, what, when, where, why and how regarding a patient to fully understand the individual’s psychosocial needs.

The concept of this module is to give healthcare professionals and students the opportunity to explore the patient and family’s preferences during end of life care, as well as cultural influences surrounding end of life decision making and finally psychosocial assessments utilized at this stage of care.

Educational objectives: 

Upon completion of this module, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify needs and preferences of patients and families facing the end of life.
  • Discuss cultural influences on end of life decision making.
  • Highlight how healthcare provider's personal values may affect care of a patient.
  • Describe components of a comprehensive psychosocial assessment.
  • Provide examples of different types of psychosocial supports.
Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

Technical Requirements and Notes: This learning module uses Adobe Flash media and may require you to add a browser "plug-in" in order to display properly. Most computers already have this free plug-in installed. But, if yours does not, it is very easy to download and install. Try the module first because the software is "smart" enough to detect the Flash player. If the module doesn't begin, you will be automatically prompted to download the plug-in. The module contains links to external websites which will open in a new browser window. Your browser's back button will not return to the module, so these new windows should be closed.

In order to track your progress, you must create an account and fill out a brief demographic profile. Once the profile has been created, you can log directly into the course.

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Suggested Citation:
Dr. Doris Chechotka-McQuade, PhD, Mr. Shawn Calkins and Tarae Waddell-Terry, MS. End of Life Care 4: Assessing Psychosocial Needs in End of Life Care. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2011 Available from: