Research Article  |   October 2015
Functional Deficits and Quality of Life Among Cancer Survivors: Implications for Occupational Therapy in Cancer Survivorship Care
Author Affiliations
  • Eric J. Hwang, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA; ehwang@csudh.edu
  • Nicole C. Lokietz, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, California Hand Therapy, Anaheim Hills, CA
  • Rachel L. Lozano, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Megan A. Parke, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital, Fresno, CA
Article Information
Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability
Research Article   |   October 2015
Functional Deficits and Quality of Life Among Cancer Survivors: Implications for Occupational Therapy in Cancer Survivorship Care
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 2015, Vol. 69, 6906290010p1-6906290010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.015974
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 2015, Vol. 69, 6906290010p1-6906290010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.015974
Abstract

This study aimed to explore functional deficits and perceived quality of life (QoL) among cancer survivors. Sixty-six participants completed the Post Cancer Outcome Survey developed for the purpose of this study. The results indicated (1) modest to moderate degrees of functional deficits in 28 of the 70 items measuring areas of occupation, performance skills, body functions, and psychosocial well-being within the first year after cancer treatment; (2) significantly lower perceived QoL during the first year of survivorship compared with that before diagnosis, at present, and 5 yr hereafter (p < .001); (3) significant moderate negative correlations between the reported functional deficits and QoL (rs = –.45 to –.57); and (4) a very low percentage of participants (4.5%) receiving occupational therapy during the first year posttreatment. Functional difficulties and compromised QoL identified in this study indicate the need for occupational therapy among cancer survivors. Increasing clients’ awareness of occupational therapy for postcancer care is also suggested.