Oncology Prehabilitation

What is Cancer Prehabilitation?

Prehabilitation is defined as“[A] process on the cancer continuum of care that occurs between the time of cancer diagnosis and the beginning of acute treatment and includes physical and psychological assessments that establish a baseline functional level, identify impairments, and provide interventions that promote physical and psychological health to reduce the incidence and/or severity of future impairments.”[1]

Prehabilitation is medical care that may help newly diagnosed cancer survivors prepare for upcoming treatments and either prevent or reduce the likelihood of long-term problems. STAR Program Prehab[2] focuses on incorporating the latest research into best practices recommendations in an effort to reduce physical impairments, functional disability, pain and emotional distress. This, in turn, may reduce direct and indirect healthcare costs and ultimately improve health-related quality of life.[3]

[1] Silver JK, Baima J, Mayer RS. Impairment-driven cancer rehabilitation: an essential component of quality care and survivorship. CA Cancer J Clin. 2013;63(5):295-317.

[2] Corder M, Kenner R. Sherwood JT, Kusmierczyk C, Duval K. Prehabilitation Demonstrates Decreased Hospital Length of Stay in a Small Sample of Thoracic Oncology Patients. Presented at the Oncology Nursing Society Congress (2015).

[3] Silver JK, Baima J. Cancer prehabilitation: an opportunity to decrease treatment-related morbidity, increase cancer treatment options and improve physical and psychological health outcomes. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2013 Aug;92(8):715-27.