There are several tools in the toolbox
described in the BC Renal’s patient goalsetting strategy, all aimed at helping
patients and care teams work together to
identify what’s important to patients in
their care and well-being. My Symptom
Checklist (also referred to as the
Edmonton Symptom Assessment Systemrevised: Renal or ESAS-r: Renal) is one of
those tools, and as a self-reporting tool
(patient-reported outcome measure), it’s
particularly designed to support person centred care.
My Symptom Checklist activates patients in their care and helps clinicians understand what patients are
experiencing from the patient perspective. Specifically, it helps systematically screen for symptoms that
tend to be under-reported, and as a result are often untreated, among patients with advanced chronic
The checklist is available in English, French, Punjabi, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese and includes
12 symptoms that span both physical and mental health. It’s meant to be used regularly to monitor and
follow up on symptoms that affect quality of life over time.
Using the tool to know what is bothersome to patients can help clinicians better understand what
matters to them, thereby enabling clinicians to support patients more efficiently and effectively.
Moreover, it can open up conversations for setting goals that are important to patients, and support
patients in achieving those goals.
For care teams, there are a number of considerations when adopting routine symptom assessment and
management using the tool. For example, following up with patients regarding their results is important
as patients need to know how their efforts in completing the checklist are being used to improve their
health and well-being.
A working group of the BC Renal Palliative Care Committee recently conducted a review of current
practice and developed a new Q & A tips sheet that outlines various considerations for integrating the
checklist into routine practice. See Integrating Systematic Symptom Assessment & Management Using
My Symptom Checklist Routinely in Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease Care.
Additional health professional resources for supporting the use of My Symptom Checklist in clinical
settings are available on the BC Renal website here, including the helpful Q & A document, My Symptom
Checklist Information Sheet (Staff/ Physician), updated in March.
Patient information and options for downloading the tool are available here.
Read about self-management and BC Renal’s Strategy for Patient Goal-Setting here.
Health professionals who have questions or suggestions about the use of My Symptom Checklist can
email Helen at HChiu@bcrenal.ca.