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Optimizing post-acute care in breast cancer survivors: a rehabilitation perspective

Authors Amatya B, Khan F, Galea MP

Received 30 May 2017

Accepted for publication 3 August 2017

Published 30 August 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 347—357


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Bhasker Amatya,1–3 Fary Khan,1–3 Mary P Galea,1–3

1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, 2Australian Rehabilitation Research Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, 3Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia

Abstract: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common malignancy and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in women worldwide. Therapeutic advances and improved survival rates of women with BC have implications for long-term impact on disability, psychological function and quality of life (QoL), which may be amenable to rehabilitation. The focus of rehabilitation is on managing disability, reducing sequelae and symptoms, and enhancing participation and societal reintegration, to achieve the highest possible independence and the best QoL. Rehabilitation interventions should be considered early for maintaining functional capacity and reducing the risk of losing important abilities or independence and should be individualized depending on disease phase, functional deficits, personal requirements and specific goals. A number of interventions have been trialled to support rehabilitation input for women with BC, which include physical therapy, psychological interventions (psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral training) and others. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation and uni-disciplinary interventions such as physical therapy have been shown to be beneficial in reducing disability, and improving participation and QoL. There is a need for comprehensive assessment of health domains in BC patients using a standardized framework and a common language for describing the impact of disease at different levels, using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health core sets. This will provide more detailed information on the needs of these patients, so more efficient and targeted rehabilitation interventions can be provided.

Keywords: breast cancer, rehabilitation, disability, participation

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