Background Many patients referred to OT in the final stage of the cancer pathway report long standing functional difficulties which could have been addressed earlier in the treatment pathway. Rehabilitation is well established in conditions such as cardiac and stroke diseases and needs to be for cancer. (National Cancer Action Team 2009). Timely referral to OT can allow more time to plan appropriate support. (National End of Life Care Programme 2011) This project is devised to try and reach these patients in a timely way.
Aims To develop a screening and referral process for OT intervention with patients referred for chemotherapy.
Methods A screening tool was provided by the OT to the chemotherapy nurses. The nurses completed the tool with each new patient from 1 January 2011 and forwarded the completed proforma to the OT. All proformas recorded ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the suggestion of OT referral. Proformas marked ‘yes’ were allocated within the OT team for assessment. Proformas marked ‘no’ were recorded.
Results Results were analysed after the first 50 patients had been screened. 23 were referred for assessment by OT. 27 were not referred. Five of the patients not referred by the chemotherapy nurses were referred to the palliative care OT team by other agencies further down the cancer pathway.
Conclusion 56% of patients referred for treatment in chemotherapy day unit benefited from intervention by OT. The screening tool used by the chemotherapy nurses was not sensitive enough to identify all patients in need of OT.
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