AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To investigate the cancer rehabilitation experiences of working-age cancer survivors.
BACKGROUND: Cancer survivors have extremely complex needs, spanning physical, vocational, and sexual domains. Although cancer rehabilitation services have been found to eliminate or reduce these strains, these services are often underutilized.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional study design was employed.
METHODS: A survey of persons over the age of 18 with a cancer diagnosis, enrolled in the Social Insurance Agency in a municipality in southern Sweden (n =168, 68% women) was conducted.
RESULTS: Patients who used the cancer rehabilitation service (57%) were generally satisfied with it. Of participants, 26% reported not having received an offer of rehabilitation. Of those who reported that they received information about cancer rehabilitation services, most also reported that they received this information from a healthcare service professional (69%): for example, from the oncology nurse or the oncologist, whereas 20% claimed they received the information from the administrator of the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. A minority of children and family members of patients received support from the healthcare system.
CONCLUSIONS: More efforts should be taken to reach patients in need of cancer rehabilitation. Additionally, more attention should be directed toward family members and young children.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: More than one in four patients claimed to not have received an offer of cancer rehabilitation, and an even greater number of patients claimed that their spouses and children had never received an offer for this service either. Hence, there is a communication barrier that needs to be overcome. Health providers should be aware that information needs to be repeated several times, and presented both orally and in writing. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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