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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-29

Physiotherapy services for cancer patients in South India: A survey

1 Srinivas College of Physiotherapy and Research Center, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical Director, Portea Medical, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Radiation Physics, KIDWAI Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Karthikeyan Guru
Srinivas College of Physiotherapy and Research Center, Pandeshwara, Mangalore - 575 001, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/PJIAP.PJIAP_36_17

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BACKGROUND AND AIM: Cancer is a major cause of adult deaths in India and cancer incidence is projected to grow in the coming decades because of improved life expectancy. The importance of rehabilitation in cancer care received increasing recognition in medical settings; however, very little has been documented about the involvement of physiotherapists in cancer care and rehabilitation. This exploratory paper assesses the availability of physical therapy services for cancer patients and cancer survivors in South India. METHODOLOGY: In this explorative study, 1410 cancer patients from 15 cancer centers in three South Indian states were administered a valid questionnaire presented in their native languages. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze their responses. RESULTS: More than half of the cancer patients (54.1%) did not know that physiotherapy treatment is required in symptom management and only one-third (31%) were advised or referred to physiotherapy treatment. Two-thirds of the respondents (68.8%) were benefited by the recommended exercises. The recommended exercises were stretching (42.9%), breathing (28.6%), and strengthening (16.9%). The most commonly used evaluation method was visual analog scale for pain (29.9%). CONCLUSION: It is found that the number of qualified physiotherapists working in the cancer centers is not sufficient to meet the demand.

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