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How Prehabilitation Can Improve Outcomes and Reduce Hospital Costs

Doug Desjardins for HealthLeaders Media, August 14, 2013

In the study, Silver also suggests that programs to improve the mental state of cancer patients are important. "The need for psychosocial support in some patients may be greatest at the time of diagnosis, as they work to acclimate to the changes this will mean in their lives and rally for the challenges ahead," the report stated.

"Providing support and instruction in coping skills during this waiting period, when survivors are in limbo, may be beneficial in alleviating some of the stress and anxiety." The report noted that "prehabilitative psychosocial interventions may also help patients move ahead with treatment decisions, further avoiding treatment delays."

Silver said a "multimodal" approach that includes various exercise and wellness programs along with psychological counseling could help patients complete their prescribed regimes of radiation and chemotherapy and, in the long-term, help them live longer. "People who complete their recommended treatment for cancer have a better chance at long-term survival than people who don't," said Silver. "And we believe prehabilitation can help people with all types of different cancers complete their treatment and improve their chances of living cancer-free."

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1 comments on "How Prehabilitation Can Improve Outcomes and Reduce Hospital Costs"


Lea Ann Webb (8/19/2013 at 11:11 PM)
From a patient perspective I will say that even introducing the respiratory therapy prior to surgery required of all patients after general anesthesia prior to would be great. In pain and medicated is not an opportune time to learn anything new. Practicing the therapy in advance and deciding how to keep up with the required # of times performed per day would be a great help. When my son had acl reconstruction he was an athlete and therefore needed to shorten his recovery time as much as possible so he was prescribed prehab. He cycled and performed other exercises at the rehab facility and his surgery was not scheduled until his thigh circumference was equal to his non injured leg. My husband has done well since his robot assisted prostatectomy, but he never took the after surgery exercises very seriously. A female patient would have better understood the exercises, because most women know about kagel exercises. Again, after surgery was not the opportune time to learn A new exercise. His surgeon did require him to prehab by walking every day and losing 2 inches of waist circumference. We had carefully chosen the surgeon and it is the only time my husband has ever followed the exercise and diet recommendations of any MD. So yes, any small improvements in this area would be helpful!