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What Are the Attitudes and Beliefs of Oncologists Regarding Potential Cancer Rehabilitation in a Tertiary Cancer Center?

Francis, George J. MD, FRCPC1; Fu, Jack B. MD2

doi: 10.1097/01.REO.0000000000000173

Introduction: Cancer rehabilitation (CR) is an emerging field in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Current literature highlights the effectiveness of CR in improving functional outcomes, shorter length of hospital stay, and improved quality of life. Despite this, there are very few formalized CR programs across all of North America.

Methods: We conducted a survey at a tertiary cancer center without a formalized CR program to assess the perceived need of such a program and its potential development.

Results: This survey of medical, surgical, radiation, and pediatric oncologists demonstrated that 92.3% of 39 respondents felt CR was somewhat to very important, particularly for their patients' issues of fatigue, deconditioning, pain management, and disposition planning.

Conclusion: These findings highlight the value seen by oncologists in the need for further CR access and formalized program development in order to meet patient needs for improving functional deficits, activities of daily living, and quality of life.

1Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Department of Oncology, Foothills Medical Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

2Associate Professor, Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation & Integrative Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Correspondence: George J. Francis, MD, FRCPC, Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Oncology, CC110, Oncology Offices, Foothills Medical Center, 1331 29th St NW, Calgary, AB T2N-4N1, Canada (

Grant Support: Jack B. Fu is supported in part by the MD Anderson Cancer Center support grant #CA016672.

Location where work and manuscript completed: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2019 © Academy of Oncology Physical Therapy, APTA
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