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Occupational Therapy Utilization for Individuals with Brain Cancer following a Craniotomy: A Descriptive Study

Campbell, Claudine Levy, OTR/L1; Pergolotti, Mackenzi, MS, OTR/L2; Blaskowitz, Meghan, MOT, OTR/L3

Rehabilitation Oncology: 2009 - Volume 27 - Issue 1 - p 9–13
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Background: There is limited evidence to describe the occupational therapy interventions most commonly used with patients in the acute phase of treatment following a craniotomy. The purpose of this descriptive study is to identify the interventions used by occupational therapists in an acute oncology setting when working with patients with brain tumors following a craniotomy. Treatment descriptions in the acute setting and recommendations for therapy interventions are discussed.

Method: A retrospective chart review of 65 patients admitted to an acute oncology hospital who received occupational therapy services following a craniotomy procedure between March and May 2005 was conducted. Demographic data and information relating to tumor location, medical and surgical interventions, discharge status, and occupational therapy interventions were obtained.

Results: Ninety percent (90%) of the patient sample received 3 or fewer occupational therapy sessions during their acute care hospital stay. Fifty percent of the sample received transfer and ADL training, and 34% received therapeutic cognitive interventions. Occupational therapy treatments for cognitive deficits were chosen based on deficits displayed during the initial evaluation. Patients who demonstrated functional or cognitive rehabilitation needs upon discharge were ultimately discharged with the appropriate rehabilitation services. Fifty two percent (52%) of the sample received referrals from their treating occupational therapist for community services or continued rehabilitation. Despite the limited number of average treatment sessions, this study describes occupational therapy interventions that can be provided to patients with brain tumors following craniotomy in an acute oncology setting.

1Chief of Occupational Therapy, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

2Former Assistant Chief of Occupational Therapy, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

3Occupational Therapy Supervisor, YAI Center for Specialty Therapy, New York, NY

©2009 (C) Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy, APTA
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