Association of Outpatient Cancer Rehabilitation with Patient-Reported Outcomes and Performance-Based Measures of Function

MacKenzi Pergolotti, Kelley R. Covington, Ashley N. Lightner, Jessica Bertram, Melissa Thess, Julia Sharp, Matthew Spraker, Grant R. Williams, Peter Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose/Objective: Evidence supporting the effect of community-based cancer-specific physical and occupational therapy (PT/OT) services on cancer-related disability is limited. We examined the effect of community-based outpatient cancer-specific PT/OT for performance-based and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for adults with cancer. Methods: This retrospective, pre/posttreatment study included 185 adults seen for cancer rehabilitation (PT/OT). Demographic and clinical data were patient-reported. Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) measures included global physical health (GPH) and global mental health (GMH) scale (10 item); physical function (PF; 4-item), and ability to participate in social roles and activities (SRA; 4-item). Performance-based measures included hand grip strength (HGS) and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. We used descriptive statistics to evaluate patient characteristics, paired-samples t test to compare scores pre- and post-PT/OT, and independent-samples t test to compare the mean change for all outcomes between patients in the active and posttreatment groups. Results: Patients were predominantly female (n = 137; 75%), were 41 to 65 years old (n = 99; 57%). The majority had been diagnosed with breast (n = 98; 53%) cancer. Most (n = 115; 62.2%) patients completed at least one follow-up evaluation over 6 ± 4.5 weeks. A significant effect (P <.05; Cohen d = 0.21-0.35) was observed for GPH, SRA, HGS, and TUG test. There was no difference in average effect between the active and posttreatment groups. Conclusions: Community-based cancer-specific PT/OT has a significant effect on the functioning and participation of adults with cancer. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Community-based cancer rehabilitation services may benefit cancer survivors' functioning and health-related quality of life across the cancer continuum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalRehabilitation Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • adults
  • cancer rehabilitation
  • community-based
  • outcomes
  • outpatient


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