Purpose: To determine how participation in daily life is impacted during the first six months following a new cancer diagnosis and to identify risk factors for participation restrictions. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) were used to suggest referrals to rehabilitation services. Methods: Participants (n = 123) were adults (> 18 years) with the newly diagnosed primary brain, breast, colorectal, or lung cancer. PROs were collected at baseline (within 30 days of diagnosis/treatment initiation), two and five months post baseline. Daily life participation was assessed through the community participation indicators (CPI) (score range: 0–1) and patient-reported outcome measurement information system (PROMIS) ability to participate, (score range: 20–80; mean: 50, SD: 10). PROMIS-43 profile was also completed. Linear mixed-effect models with random intercept evaluated change in participation over time. Results: The baseline total sample mean CPI score was 0.56; patients reported mildly impaired participation based on PROMIS scores (baseline: 46.19, 2-month follow-up: 44.81, 5 months: 44.84). However, no statistically significant changes in participation were observed over the study period. Risk factors for lower participation included receiving chemotherapy, lower physical function, higher anxiety and fatigue, and reduction in employment, p < 0.05. PROs indicated that roughly half of the participants may benefit from physical or occupational therapy or mental health support, but only 20–36% were referred by their medical team. Conclusion: People newly diagnosed with cancer experience impaired participation, but they are infrequently referred to supportive services such as rehabilitation. The use of PROs to assess participation, physical function, and mental health can promote access to supportive care services by identifying patients who may benefit from rehabilitation beyond those identified through routine clinical care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number213
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Cancer
  • Patient-reported outcome measures
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation


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