Cancer rehabilitation services: an Italian population-based cohort study


Aims and background. In Italy more than 55% of cancer patients live for more than 5 years after diagnosis, sometimes with several cancer-related sequelae. For this reason rehabilitation must offer not only physical interventions but also psychological, clinical, social and nutritional support. The CAREMORE pilot study was designed to assess whether cancer registries could serve to collect information on rehabilitation services, to describe and quantify the services provided by the National Health Service, and to examine the allocation of rehabilitation services to cancer patients.
Methods and study design. This was a pilot population-based cohort study. A sample of 1200 patients was identified from the databases of the Varese, Genoa, Reggio Emilia, Sassari and Ragusa cancer registries, all diagnosed in 2002 and followed for 5 years. For 4 cancer sites a list of rehabilitation items to be collected was drafted by a joint community of researchers and voluntary associations, with variables regarding rehabilitation data and follow-up. Data were analyzed by groups of patients, vital status, sex, and age.
Results. This pilot study suggested it is useful to collect information on several rehabilitation services: disability benefits, home care, aids and other support; it was not possible to collect reliable information on nutritional and psychological rehabilitation. In all, 36% of the sample applied for disability benefits, but with important differences between cancer sites. Eleven percent of the sample obtained home care, with no substantial differences between cancer sites, and 16% received at least one aid, with percentages varying from 27% for rectal cancer to 8% for lymphoma patients.
Conclusions. The pilot study indicated that cancer registries could collect information on rehabilitation services. In the future it would be interesting to expand the roles of these registries to factors that influence quality of life, taking into account the possibility of collecting more information by actually interviewing patients.

Tumori 2014; 100(3): 346 - 351




Francesca Di Salvo, Paolo Baili, Massimo Vicentini, Rosario Tumino, Marina Vercelli, Daniela Pirino, Paolo Contiero, Roberto Foschi, Pamela Minicozzi, Paolo Giorgi Rossi, Francesco de Lorenzo, Andrea Micheli and the CAREMORE Group

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  • Salvo, Francesca Di [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Analytical Epidemiology and Health Impact Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy
  • Baili, Paolo [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Analytical Epidemiology and Health Impact Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy
  • Vicentini, Massimo [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Reggio Emilia Cancer Registry, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • Tumino, Rosario [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Ragusa Cancer Registry, Ragusa, Italy
  • Vercelli, Marina [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Liguria Region Cancer Registry, IRCCS AOU S Martino - Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genoa, Italy
  • Pirino, Daniela [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Sassari Cancer Registry, Sassari, Italy
  • Contiero, Paolo [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Varese Cancer Registry, Varese, Italy
  • Foschi, Roberto [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Evaluation Epidemiology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy
  • Minicozzi, Pamela [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Analytical Epidemiology and Health Impact Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy
  • Rossi, Paolo Giorgi [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Servizio Interaziendale di Epidemiologia, AUSL Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • Lorenzo, Francesco de [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Federazione Italiana delle Associazioni di Volontariato in Oncologia, Italy
  • Micheli and the CAREMORE Group, Andrea [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
    Scientific Directorate, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy

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