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Engaging Pediatric Physiatrists and Other Pediatric Rehabilitation Professionals to Optimize the Care of Children With Cancer

Published:August 02, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2021.07.390
      “Limitations of Current Rehabilitation Practices in Pediatric Oncology: Implications for Improving Comprehensive Clinical Care,” published in this issue, highlights the need for interdisciplinary comprehensive coordinated rehabilitation for children with cancer.
      • Houdeshell MJ
      • Thomas KM
      • King AA
      • L’Hotta AJ.
      Limitations of current rehabilitation practices in pediatric oncology: implications for improving comprehensive clinical care.
      The epidemiology of childhood cancers has shifted in recent years because of advances in diagnostics and treatments and the subsequent improvements in survivorship. Children can have severe short-term functional deficits due to the tumors themselves (especially central nervous system tumors) and/or their treatments requiring intensive rehabilitation services from multiple disciplines to improve recovery. Additionally, some children will have long-lasting disabilities necessitating ongoing rehabilitation even after their cancer is in remission or cured.
      • Murphy KP
      • McMahon MA
      • Houtrow AJ.
      Pediatric rehabilitation: principles and practice.
      The value of interdisciplinary rehabilitation for childhood cancer is well documented but unfortunately unavailable at many centers, as identified by Houdeshell et al.
      • Houdeshell MJ
      • Thomas KM
      • King AA
      • L’Hotta AJ.
      Limitations of current rehabilitation practices in pediatric oncology: implications for improving comprehensive clinical care.
      Perhaps part of the problem is the lack of pediatric rehabilitation medicine physicians engaged in cancer rehabilitation, although the presence of pediatric physiatry was not one of the criteria for having an established pediatric oncology rehabilitation program in their analysis.
      • Houdeshell MJ
      • Thomas KM
      • King AA
      • L’Hotta AJ.
      Limitations of current rehabilitation practices in pediatric oncology: implications for improving comprehensive clinical care.
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