A Focused Review of Safety Considerations in Cancer Rehabilitation

Susan Maltser, Adrian Cristian, Julie K. Silver, G. Stephen Morris, Nicole L. Stout

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Cancer and its treatments introduce various adverse effects that may affect survivors’ physical, cognitive and psychological functioning. Frequently both tolerance to activity and exercise are affected as well. Rehabilitation providers should have substantive knowledge about the effect of cancer progression and common side effects associated with antineoplastic treatment to safely integrate rehabilitation interventions. Rehabilitation may mitigate loss of function and disability; however, these patients are among the most medically complex that providers treat. This report provides a focused review that synthesizes the current evidence regarding disease progression and oncology-directed treatment side effects within the context of safety considerations for rehabilitation interventions throughout the continuum of cancer care. Descriptive information regarding the evidence for precautions and contraindications is provided so that rehabilitation providers can promote a safe plan of rehabilitation care. It is incumbent upon but also challenging for rehabilitation providers to stay up to date on the many advances in cancer treatment, and there are many gaps in the literature regarding safety issues. Although further research is needed to inform care, this review provides clinicians with a framework to assess patients with the goal of safely initiating rehabilitation interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S415-S428
JournalPM and R
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


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