Family-Oriented Rehabilitation (FOR) and Rehabilitation of Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) in Pediatric Oncology

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Abstract

This paper describes the function and contribution of family-oriented oncologic rehabilitation (FOR) and of oncologic rehabilitation for adolescents and young adults (AYA). The rehabilitation of children with cancer and their families and that of AYA is an integral component of pediatric oncologic treatment regimens. 32 years ago, FOR was developed in Germany and continues in a select number of highly-specialized rehabilitation centers recommended by the GPOH (Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Onkologie und Hämatologie, Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology). After oncologic treatment, the patient, along with his or her family, begins an individualized rehabilitation process. The whole family participates in this process to ensure success. AYA patients are rehabilitated in small peer groups. In FOR, the immediate goal is to stabilize the family system in order to ensure maximum success for the patient. The long-term goal of FOR and AYA rehabilitation is to provide support for a return to as normal and self-determined a life as possible. Patients who suffer from chronic illnesses due to their oncologic disease and therapy (for example, a significant number of brain tumor patients) need long-term help in various areas. Here, multiple 4-week cycles of oncologic rehabilitation may be necessary throughout a patient's lifetime.

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