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My Symptom Checklist: Improving patient care with patient voices

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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 kidney disease. 

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. 

New tips sheet 

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.

Access the checklist and supporting information 

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

Questions or suggestions?

Health professionals who have questions or suggestions about the use of My Symptom Checklist can email Helen at




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