Role of occupational therapy in rehabilitation of cancer patients

Authors: Ciubean AD (1) , Ciortea VM (1,2) , Ungur RA (1,2) , Borda IM (1,2) , Popa T (2) , Irsay L (1,2)
(1) Department of Rehabilitation, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Iuliu Hatieganu” (2) Department of Rehabilitation, Clinical Rehabilitation Hospital
Source: Balneo and PRM Research Journal. 2021;12(2):145–150
DOI: 10.12680/balneo.2021.434 Publication date: 2021 Jun E-Publication date: Not specified Availability: full text Copyright: Not specified
Language: English Countries: Not specified Location: Not specified Correspondence address: CIORTEA Viorela Mihaela, E-mail:


Article abstract

Background. Most adult cancer survivors report a significant decrease of their quality of life and limitations in performing activities of daily living. Occupational therapy is a form of rehabilitation treatment that uses certain techniques and tools aimed at improving functional capacity, improve social participation and overall quality of life. Objective. The overall purpose of this narrative review is to provide a better understanding of the role that occupational therapy can play in the rehabilitation of cancer patients with a focus on the most important cancer-related aspects amenable and manageable by occupational therapy interventions and to increase awareness regarding this form of rehabilitation. Discussion. Given the fact that there is constant grow in the number of cancer survivors with complex needs, rehabilitation and occupational therapy strategies can increase functionality and health-related quality of life of patients with cancer at any point of the disease, but it remains underused, due to certain barriers. Conclusions. Occupational therapy, as part of cancer rehabilitation therapy, can lead to improvements in both short and longterm outcomes, while being cost-effective as goals are always set in collaboration with the patients and are aimed to identify and improve the activities most important and relevant for them.

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