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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Kentucky: Two Systematic Reviews of Evidence for the Effectiveness of Cancer Rehabilitation Interventions

Dr. Beth Hunter, Assistant Professor, Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, published two systematic reviews of evidence for the effectiveness of cancer rehabilitation interventions within the scope of occupational therapy that address the activity and participation needs of adult cancer survivors in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

[Photo: Dr. Beth Hunter]

“Systematic Review of Occupational Therapy and Adult Cancer Rehabilitation: Part 1. Impact of Physical Activity and Symptom Management Interventions,” focuses on the importance of physical activity and symptom management. Strong evidence supports the use of exercise for cancer-related fatigue and indicates that lymphedema is not exacerbated by exercise. Moderate evidence supports the use of yoga to relieve anxiety and depression and indicates that exercise as a whole may contribute to a return to pre-cancer levels of sexual activity. The results of this review support inclusion of occupational therapy in cancer rehabilitation and reveal a significant need for more research to explore ways occupational therapy can positively influence the outcomes of cancer survivors.

“Systematic Review of Occupational Therapy and Adult Cancer Rehabilitation: Part 2. Impact of Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation and Psychosocial, Sexuality, and Return-to-Work Interventions,” focuses on the use of multidisciplinary rehabilitation and interventions that address psychosocial outcomes, sexuality, and return to work. Strong evidence indicates that multidisciplinary rehabilitation benefits cancer survivors and that psychosocial strategies can reduce anxiety and depression. Moderate evidence indicates that interventions can support survivors in returning to the level of sexuality desired and help with return to work.

Dr. Hunter was invited to present her work at the American Occupational Therapy Specialty Cancer Rehabilitation conference on January 13 in Houston, Texas, at MD Anderson Cancer Center.