The team have developed an approach which uses new ways of assessing disability in hospital and at home to develop a personalised rehabilitation plan for sarcoma patients.
The treatment of extremity bone or soft tissue tumours routinely involves the surgical removal of large volumes of muscle and/or bone, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Many patients suffer disability and difficulties with everyday tasks which greatly affects their quality of life. There is a need for a good, evidence-based and comprehensive approach to rehabilitation which addresses the complex needs of patients.
This pilot study will test if a more holistic approach to rehabilitation works in a small number of patients (20) who need rehabilitation either immediately after treatment or more than six months later. To do this we will perform an assessment of physical function in the clinic using standard questionnaires and performance of activities wearing activity monitors. These monitors will be worn during a week of normal activity at home. This information will be collected using a holistic approach adopted from other clinical conditions to develop a personalised rehabilitation plan taking into account the priorities of patients and their families. We will reassess the patient afterwards and measure the impact on their quality of life.
By testing this approach, we hope to learn if it is feasible and acceptable to both patients and rehabilitation professionals. If successful, we will take our findings forward by seeking further funding for a larger multicentre study supported by the data from this pilot project.
- ‘Issues of Survivorship and Rehabilitation in Soft Tissue Sarcoma’, Gerrand, C and S Furtado. Clinical Oncology August 2017, 29(8): 538–545.