Purpose of review
This review examines the delivery of rehabilitation care to cancer patients with relation to disease prognosis. This includes the evaluation when patients are referred for rehabilitation services and the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions across the cancer continuum.
Although prognosticating life expectancy is difficult, referrals for rehabilitation interventions appear to be affected by physician attitudes towards patients with advanced disease, in part because of misconceptions about the nature of rehabilitation for oncology patients. Rehabilitation may also be underutilized in long-term survivors with no evidence of disease. Despite this, our review found that rehabilitation in advanced disease, end-of-life, geriatric cancer patients, and in long-term survivors can be beneficial. There is a relative dearth in studies on rehabilitation interventions specifically at the end-of-life.
Cancer rehabilitation can be helpful to patients along the spectrum of cancer prognoses. Examining more accurate ways to prognosticate life expectancy, improving communication and education between oncologists and rehabilitation team members, and modifying survivorship plans to include patient education on functional changes over time may improve the delivery of rehabilitation care.
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Conflict of Interest
Sean Smith and Jasmine Zheng declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Cancer Rehabilitation
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Smith, S.R., Zheng, J.Y. The Intersection of Oncology Prognosis and Cancer Rehabilitation. Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep 5, 46–54 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40141-017-0150-0
- Cancer rehabilitation
- Cancer prognosis
- Prognosis and supportive care
- Prognosis and rehabilitation
- Geriatric cancer rehabilitation
- Cancer rehabilitation attitudes