Psychosocial Assessment

"Adolescents and young adults with cancer often want to know, but are reluctant to ask about topics such as sexual health and substance use. Evidence suggests that if providers ask AYA patients about these behaviours in confidence, patients are more likely to engage with health professionals and feel they can disclose and discuss concerns with them."


Starship | Starship Clinical Guidelines for Adolescent Consultation

CanTeen (AUS) | AYA Oncology Psychosocial Care Manual

Patterson, P., McDonald, F.E.J., Anazodo, A., Costa, D.S.J., Wakefield, C., White, K., Thompson, K., Osborn, M.P. (2015). Validation of the distress thermometer for use among adolescents and young adults with cancer in Australia: a multicentre study protocol. Clinical Oncology in Adolescents and Young Adults. 5, 51-62.

Royal Australasian College of Physicians | Routine Adolescent Psychosocial Assessment

Web Resources

HEADSS for Adolescents | Modern Medicine Network

HEADSS Assessment


Whāraurau in collaboration with key agencies have developed the online eLearning module – Introduction to HEEADSSS.

This short course provides an introduction to the HEEADSSS assessment framework and other key information to support professionals working with young people.

eLearning Courses | Whāraurau (

Web Resources

Heidi Watson

The Clinical Leader is responsible for providing clinical leadership and national oversight of the network .

Heidi is a passionate and experienced health professional with a strong clinical, education and leadership background. Her enthusiasm for, and commitment to youth health has focused on improving the outcomes of youth with cancer and chronic health conditions. Previously, Heidi held the position of AYA Cancer Nurse Specialist for Auckland District Health Board. Alongside her AYA clinical leadership role she holds a youth health academic position at the University of Auckland.