The Intersection of Rehabilitation and Palliative Care: Patients With Advanced Cancer in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Setting

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BackgroundPatients diagnosed with advanced cancer often differ from the traditional patient typically seen in the inpatient rehabilitation setting.PurposeTo identify differences in care while highlighting the considerable similarities between the complementary specialties of palliative care and rehabilitation, and to provide rehabilitation clinicians with knowledge and skills to enhance care for palliative care patients and their families.MethodologyNarrative literature review describing common functional losses in patients diagnosed with advanced cancer, followed by articulation of the intersection of palliative care with traditional rehabilitation approaches and goals.ConclusionThe evidence supports implementation of a distinct body of skills and knowledge, referred to as “palliative rehabilitation,” among inpatient rehabilitation providers.Clinical ImplicationsImplementing palliative rehabilitation skills can improve the quality of care within the inpatient rehabilitation setting for patients with advanced cancer.

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