Patient and Family Interview

Interviewing and communication skills are needed for a hospice assessment that is successful in meeting the patient and family needs.  A good hospice assessment involves the interviewer having a thorough knowledge of hospice care, knowing the various tools and guidelines for hospice assessment, and knowledge of death and dying.

Good communication involves:

  • eye contact
  • using the person’s name
  • asking clarifying questions “tell me more about your bad morning?”
  • allowing time for silence, and
  • the ability to listen carefully to what is said and for what might be the meaning behind the words.

Hospice assessments differ from regular medical assessments in that they incorporate evaluation of:

  • physical functioning
  • suffering
  • emotional coping
  • level of support
  • spiritual needs
  • unfinished business, and
  • financial issues.
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