A tool to help patients identify and express their support needs.

The Support Needs Approach for Patients (SNAP) is a healthcare intervention which seeks to enable person-centred care for patients with progressive conditions.

The SNAP tool

SNAP uses a brief, yet comprehensive, evidence-based validated tool which comprises 15 questions based on areas in which patients with progressive disease commonly say they require support. The SNAP tool is completed by the patient to help them consider and express their support needs, and the completed tool is then used as the basis of a needs-led conversation with their health care professional.

An inspection copy of the SNAP tool is free to download. To use the tool in any way a licence is required - for instructions on how to secure a licence see below. 


  • the SNAP tool underpins of a 5-stage intervention (SNAP) which enables delivery of person-centred care: the patient uses the tool to consider areas where they need more support (in contrast to clinician-identified needs)
  • the SNAP tool is evidence-based and comprehensive
  • the SNAP tool makes person-centred care visible to the patient: the patient can see that there is a process for identifying and addressing their support needs
  • the SNAP tool is free for use within not-for-profit organisations e.g. the NHS
  • the SNAP tool can be used in research studies to identify broad areas of unmet patient support need (but is not suitable as an outcome measure i.e. it is not suitable for measuring change).

Why do we need SNAP?

Some patients find it difficult to tell health care professionals about their support needs, either because of limited time during the consultation or because they are unsure what is appropriate or relevant to mention.

The SNAP tool therefore acts as a prompt, giving patients “permission” to raise their support needs with health care professionals and giving them a means to do so.


Who can use SNAP?

Health care professionals can use the SNAP tool within the 5-stage SNAP intervention to enable person-centred care (SNAP: the Support Needs Approach for Patients). The SNAP tool can also be used as a standalone tool in research studies to identify broad areas of unmet support need in patients with progressive conditions.



In order to secure a licence to use the SNAP tool in clinical practice, you must first complete the 90 minute, free to access, online SNAP training, where you will be shown how to use the tool within the SNAP intervention. Further details can be found on the SNAP website. SNAP training is not required to use the SNAP tool in research, provided that the tool is not being used to deliver clinical care in any way (if clinicians will be delivering the SNAP intervention within the research study then SNAP training is required).

Please contact Dr Joita Dey and Dr Morag Farquhar to secure a licence to use the SNAP tool.

The licence covers four reasons for use:

  • clinical practice use
  • research use
  • translating the SNAP tool
  • systematic reviews.



Int. J. Chronic Obstr. Pulm. Dis. 2017, 13, 1021-1035. doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S155622



For further information on SNAP, please visit the SNAP website

Follow @SNAPstudyteam on Twitter


Principal Investigator

Please contact Dr Morag Farquhar and the IP Office for more information.

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