Follow the trail: Using insights from the growth of palliative care to propose a roadmap for cancer rehabilitation.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

CA: a cancer journal for clinicians


evidence-based practice; neoplasms; policy; public opinion; rehabilitation; science


Despite research explicating the benefits of cancer rehabilitation interventions to optimize physical, social, emotional, and vocational functioning, many reports document low rates of referral to and uptake of rehabilitation in oncology. Cancer rehabilitation clinicians, researchers, and policy makers could learn from the multidisciplinary specialty of palliative care, which has benefited from a growth strategy and has garnered national recognition as an important and necessary aspect of oncology care. The purpose of this article is to explore the actions that have increased the uptake and integration of palliative care to yield insights and multimodal strategies for the development and growth of cancer rehabilitation. After examining the history of palliative care and its growth, the authors highlight 5 key strategies that may benefit the field of cancer rehabilitation: 1) stimulating the science in specific gap areas; 2) creating clinical practice guidelines; 3) building clinical capacity; 4) ascertaining and responding to public opinion; and 5) advocating for public policy change. Coordinated and simultaneous advances on these 5 strategies may catalyze the growth, utilization, and effectiveness of patient screening, timely referrals, and delivery of appropriate cancer rehabilitation care that reduces disability and improves quality of life for cancer survivors who need these services.

Clinical Institute





Palliative Care