New ‘quality of life metric’, will use questionnaires to measure how well cancer patients are supported after treatment. | NHS England
NHS England are introducing a new approach to drive improvements in after care which includes personalised plans for people with cancer outlining not only their physical needs, but also other support they may need, such as help at home or financial advice.
The latest national survey shows the vast majority of people with cancer are positive about the NHS care they receive, but there is currently no measure to assess how well patients are supported after treatment.
The new ‘quality of life metric’, which is the first of its kind, will use questionnaires to measure how effective this support is and the data will be made available on My NHS – helping patients, the public, clinicians and health service providers see how well their local after cancer care support is doing.
Full story at NHS England
Programmes to encourage physical activity for people with cancer at home or in local communities have a positive impact on physical function | NIHR Signal
The changes were generally small to moderate, for example those receiving rehabilitation could walk on average 28 metres further in six minutes. The studies mostly included older people with breast cancer, in whom these small improvements may be important.
Cancer survivors experience changes to their physical function resulting from cancer and its treatments. Restoring function can help people maintain independence.
This review looked at a range of interventions. Those delivered in people’s homes or nearby community settings may be more convenient for people with reduced physical function, and might enable more people to attend. Further research would help to confirm these findings in the UK and to explore implementation issues.
To support return to work (RTW) among cancer patients, a multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme was developed which combined occupational counselling with a supervised physical exercise programme during chemotherapy | BMJ Open
Objectives: The aim was to investigate RTW rates of cancer patients and to evaluate changes in work-related quality of life and physical outcomes.
Conclusions: RTW rates of cancer patients were high after completion of the multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme. A multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme which combines occupational counselling with a supervised physical exercise programme is likely to result in RTW, reduced fatigue and increased importance of work, work ability, and quality of life.
Full reference: Leensen, M.C.J. et al. (2017) Return to work of cancer patients after a multidisciplinary intervention including occupational counselling and physical exercise in cancer patients: a prospective study in the Netherlands. BMJ Open 7:e014746.
Gerrand, C. & Furtado, S. Clinical Oncology | Published online: 22 April 2017
As the number of survivors of extremity soft tissue sarcoma increases, so does the need to understand the experience of survivors and develop measures, systems and services that support rehabilitation into normal life roles.
Survivorship includes considerations of the physical, psychological and social domains, of which the physical sequelae of treatment are the best characterised in the literature. The survivorship experience may include disability, pain, lymphoedema, psychological problems, as well as difficulty with employment, relationships and lower quality of life.
Rehabilitation strategies for extremity sarcoma patients must be personalised, holistic and begin early in the pathway, ideally before the first treatment intervention.The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health model is a useful framework for combining assessments, including objective outcome measures, which can be combined into a rehabilitation prescription. Research is needed to develop an evidence base for rehabilitation interventions to support patients with extremity soft tissue sarcoma.
Read the full abstract here