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Medical rehabilitation and the palliative care patient 

Medical rehabilitation and the palliative care patient
Medical rehabilitation and the palliative care patient

Deborah Julie Franklin

and Andrea L. Cheville

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date: 16 May 2022

Maintaining function, specifically independent function, is a key determinant of quality of life for patients receiving palliative care and their caregivers. Techniques, interventions, and strategies from the field of rehabilitation can be adapted to meet the needs of patients with advanced disease. This chapter explores aspects of rehabilitation medicine that are of greatest value for patients requiring palliative care. The first section describes pertinent rehabilitation services available in hospitals, outpatient settings, as well as home-based programmes. The next section reviews the timing of rehabilitation interventions with an emphasis on distinctive features of rehabilitation goal setting for palliative care patients. Some in-depth examples of specific rehabilitation interventions are given that can improve function for patients with advanced disease processes, including the important areas of caregiver training and support. The final section examines current barriers to the effective use of rehabilitation strategies in palliative care medicine and outlines some emerging approaches for improving outcomes.

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