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Cancer Rehabilitation: Increasing Awareness and Removing Barriers

Paul, Kelly MD; Buschbacher, Ralph MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: May 2011 - Volume 90 - Issue 5 - p S1-S4
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31820be4f4

It has been more than 30 years since Lehman et al. published research identifying rehabilitation problems encountered at different cancer sites, the need for rehabilitation services, and gaps in the delivery of rehabilitation care. The lack of identification of patient problems and the lack of appropriate referral by physicians unfamiliar with the concept of rehabilitation were identified as primary barriers to optimal delivery of rehabilitation care. These are frustratingly the same barriers to cancer rehabilitation we see today. Recommendations have been made for finding better methods for identifying and managing the broader effects of cancer and its treatment and for integrating a more holistic interdisciplinary approach during and after the treatment of patients with cancer. The purpose of this supplement was to increase awareness of the role of rehabilitation in cancer care among the public and among medical professionals, as well as to stimulate further interest and training in the field of cancer rehabilitation.

From the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Kelly Paul, MD, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Indiana University School of Medicine, 541 N Clinical Drive, Suite 626, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.