Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Laura Gilchrist



One million people in the United States of America are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many cancer patients are surviving and managing residual effects of cancer, including, but not limited to pain, muscle weakness, depression, anxiety, fatigue and decreased activity tolerance. The purpose of this study is to initiate data compilation to determine the effectiveness and outcomes of the Fairview Cancer Rehabilitation program.


Participants included 7 patients with a wide variety of cancer diagnoses who were consecutively recruited from Fairview Cancer Rehabilitation program. This program included physical and/or occupational therapy targeted to each patient’s individual impairments. Outcome measures included FACIT-Fatigue, Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12), Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), Timed Up and Go (TUG), bilateral grip strength, Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) and a follow-up survey inquiring about current health status, activity level and pain rating. Outcome measures were administered within the first 2 physical therapy visits and re-administered at time of discharge. The follow-up survey along with the SF-12 were mailed to each participant at 2 months post discharge. Since the number of subjects included in this study was low, changes in scores were examined for trends.


The participants ranged in age from 24 to 66 years with an average age of 51.4 ± 14.3 years. Patients participated in an average of 9.6 physical therapy visits ranging from 4-17 visits. Patients participated in an average of 3.1 occupational therapy visits, ranging from 0-12 visits. Mean FACIT-F, SF-12 physical and mental composite scores, 6MWT, TUG scores, bilateral grip strength and NPRS demonstrated impairments at initial evaluation and demonstrated improvement at post-intervention assessment. SF-12 mental composite scores and NPRS continued to improve from the post-intervention to follow-up measures.


Patients with cancer and cancer survivors are living with a variety of side effects. This pilot study supports the effectiveness of Fairview Cancer Rehabilitation program in improving patient’s quality of life and functional abilities. Further research is indicated with a larger sample size and increased follow-up time.