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Rehabilitation and Exercise Considerations in Hematologic Malignancies

Paul, Kelly L. MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: May 2011 - Volume 90 - Issue 5 - p S88-S94
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31820be055
Invited Reviews

Patients facing hematologic malignancy and its treatment are highly vulnerable to profound physiologic, functional, and cognitive disability and often experience a significant increase in psychosocial stress. For optimal outcomes, this incredibly vulnerable oncology population will need earlier and more comprehensive involvement of rehabilitation services, including exercise strategies.

Exercise interventions for those with cancer have not been well studied, particularly in those with hematologic malignancies. Of the research available to date, significant methodologic limitations exist. There is a strong need for further investigation into the effects of and guidelines for exercise interventions in this population of patients, particularly among those undergoing or having undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, as this has historically been a difficult population to study because of the high morbidity and potential for medical complications. From the limited data available to date, exercise seems to be generally safe, feasible, efficacious, and capable of providing functional improvements for those with hematologic cancers.

From the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Indiana University School of Medicine, Bloomington.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Kelly L. Paul, MD, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Indiana University School of Medicine, 541 North Clinical Drive, 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.