Common Clinical Tools - Resources

Common ELDAC Clinical Tools

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Clinical Tools
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ELDAC Tools Forum

As a result of the development of the Common ELDAC Clinical Tools a National Discussion was generated about the role of tools in the aged care sector. Read more about the ELDAC Tools Forum.

Documenting clinical care in a standardised way ensures the multidisciplinary healthcare team have common benchmarks to identify critical points along the journey and to monitor progress. Clinical tools assist in reliable assessment and interpretation of clinical information; supporting the decision-making process.

Ensuring consistency across the ELDAC project, the toolkit developers have identified twelve clinical tools which are common to most. Consistency in the use of clinical tools across settings, as recommended by ELDAC, decreases complexity and variation for health and aged care teams; regardless of where they are caring for the older person be it in home care, primary care or in a residential aged care home.

Where organisations already recommend a set of preferred clinical tools, the ELDAC common clinical tools should be seen as complementing these.

Recognise End of Life

Clinical Tool Explanation Home Care Toolkit Primary Care Toolkit Residential Aged Care Toolkit
Supportive and Palliative Care Indicator Tool (SPICT) (185kb pdf)
Visit the SPICTTM website for user guidelines and further information.
Identify a person whose health is deteriorating for palliative care assessment and care planning.  Yes  Yes  Yes

Assess Palliative Care Needs

Clinical Tool Explanation Home Care Toolkit Primary Care Toolkit Residential Aged Care Toolkit
Symptom Assessment Scale (SAS) (169kb docx) Measure severity of distress of the following symptoms: (1) Difficulty sleeping; (2) Appetite problems; (3) Nausea; (4) Bowel problems; (5) Breathing problems; (6) Fatigue; and (7) Pain.  Yes  Yes  Yes
Modified Borg Scale (mBORG) (182kb pdf) Assess difficulty of breathing in a person able to communicate verbally or point.  Yes  Yes  Yes
Mini-Nutritional Assessment Short-Form (MNA®-SF)(68.5kb pdf) Identify an older person who is malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.  Yes  Yes  Yes
Modified Resident's Verbal Brief Pain Inventory (M-RVBPI) (112kb pdf) Assess pain multidimensionally in a person able to communicate. This can be undertaken weekly or at longer intervals.  Yes  Yes  Yes
Numerical Rating Scale for pain (NRS) (31kb pdf) Assess pain intensity in a person able to communicate verbally or point.  Yes  Yes  Yes
Abbey Pain Scale (38.2kb pdf) Measure pain in a person with dementia who cannot communicate verbally.  Yes  Yes  Yes
Verbal Descriptor Scale (Pain Thermometer) (105kb pdf) Assess pain intensity in a person able communicate verbally or point, including a person with moderate to severe cognitive impairment.  Yes  Yes  Yes
Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) - Shortened version (142kb pdf) Identify a person with delirium.  Yes  Yes  Yes
Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) (64kb pdf) Measure psychological distress.  Yes  Yes Use Cornell Scale for Depression
Modified Cornell Scale for Depression (CSD) – available in the ACFI Assessment Pack (CSD pages 10-13 and pages 27-40; 492kb pdf). Assess depression in a person with or without cognitive impairment. Use K10 Use K10  Yes
NAT-CC – Needs Assessment Tool for Caregivers (148kb pdf) Identify areas of concern for someone providing care to a person living with a chronic condition.  Yes  Yes N.A

Criteria used to select the clinical tools

  • Ability to be applied in the Australian context;
  • Designed and validated for use with older people;
  • Useful clinically;
  • Avoiding tools requiring a paid subscription – noting that some clinical tools will require a one off free registration;
  • Intuitive to use by the relevant care providers across the aged care sector;
  • Recommended by a peak body (for example, included within a health pathway); and
  • Current.

Page updated 15 February 2023