A Cross-Sectional Survey to Understand the Perception of Cancer Rehabilitation Amongst Healthcare Providers in a Rural Community


  • Jodi Goldman Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • Vishwa Raj Carolinas Rehabilitation, Charlotte, NC
  • Terrence Pugh Carolinas Rehabilitation, Charlotte, NC
  • Cynthia Tiongco TTUHSC- School of Health Professions
  • Stephanie Stroever TTUHSC- School of Medicine, Department of Medical Education
  • John Norbury TTUHSC- School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation


cancer, healthcare providers, rehabilitation, quality of life


Background: Cancer survivors often present with complex medical impairments leading to functional limitations.


Objective: Without a cancer-specific rehabilitation physician in the West Texas community, the purpose of the current study is to understand the perception of cancer rehabilitation amongst different types of healthcare providers that serve a largely rural population. 


Methods: An electronic survey was administered to volunteer participants at an academic physician practice, academic medical center, faith-based medical center, and acute inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF). 


Results: Thirty-eight healthcare providers in various specialties completed the survey. The cohort consisted of physical therapists (21%), occupational therapists (8%), registered nurses (16%), physicians (42%), case managers/social workers (5%), and other healthcare workers (8%). Ninety-seven percent of respondents agreed that rehabilitation providers should receive some level of training for treating patients with cancer, 89% agreed that it is necessary for these patients to receive screening on functional impairment, 84% agreed that oncologists should include rehabilitation as part of the treatment discussion, and 94% agreed that a rehabilitation healthcare provider should be included in the oncology team. However, 79% agreed that there are currently barriers to providing these patients with inpatient rehabilitation services. Lastly, 100% agreed that rehabilitation care could provide a smoother return to society, yet 68% believed this patient population is currently underserved by rehabilitation services. 


Conclusion: Healthcare providers, regardless of role within the healthcare team, acknowledge that incorporating rehabilitation services into cancer care may positively impact quality of life for patients with cancer. Yet, structural barriers and medical complexity potentially hinder collaborative efforts amongst oncology and rehabilitation. 


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How to Cite

Goldman J, Raj V, Pugh T, Tiongco C, Stroever S, Norbury J. A Cross-Sectional Survey to Understand the Perception of Cancer Rehabilitation Amongst Healthcare Providers in a Rural Community. WTJOM. 2024;2(1). Accessed July 15, 2024. https://westtexasjom.org/index.php/wtjm/article/view/42



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