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Table of Contents
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 103-108

Awareness of onco-physiotherapy among urban adult population


Department of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiotherapy, KJ Somaiya College of Physiotherapy, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission10-May-2022
Date of Decision30-Jun-2022
Date of Acceptance21-Jul-2022
Date of Web Publication19-Jan-2023

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Akanksha Yogeshwar Dekate
KJ Somaiya College of Physiotherapy, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijptr.ijptr_81_22

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  Abstract 


Context: Physiotherapy is a health-care profession concerned with human functions and movements and aims at maximizing its potential. Physiotherapy as profession specializes in various fields such as musculoskeletal, neurology, cardiorespiratory, community, sports, and oncology. Onco-physiotherapy is a new specialized branch which aims to resolve the impairments caused by cancer and its treatment regimes. However, the awareness of this specialized branch of physiotherapy in general population is lesser known.
Aim: The objective is to assess awareness of onco-physiotherapy among urban adult population.
Settings and design: Descriptive study on urban population
Methods and materials: Self-administered questionnaire was made on Google forms with close-ended questions. The questionnaire was circulated among urban adult population with the age group between 18 and 60 years through social media for 2 weeks.
Statistical Analsysis Used: Data were collected, tabulated on Google Spreadsheet and descriptive statistics applied.
Results: Three hundred and twenty-three people who participated in this study which were in the age group of 18–60 years. Out of the total 323 respondents, 172 respondents were women and 151 were men. Majority of population, i.e., 64.1% were not aware about physiotherapy in cancer treatment. 46.4% population did not know when physiotherapy should be started in cancer patients. 9.5% population were not aware of onco-physiotherapy setup. The data reveals that there is a lack of awareness of onco-physiotherapy in urban adult population.
Conclusion: Lack of awareness of onco-physiotherapy among urban adult population. Lack of referral system.

Keywords: Awareness, Onco-physiotherapy, Urban adult population


How to cite this article:
Dekate AY, Ghodge SV. Awareness of onco-physiotherapy among urban adult population. Indian J Phys Ther Res 2022;4:103-8

How to cite this URL:
Dekate AY, Ghodge SV. Awareness of onco-physiotherapy among urban adult population. Indian J Phys Ther Res [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 1];4:103-8. Available from: https://www.ijptr.org/text.asp?2022/4/2/103/368061




  Introduction Top


Physiotherapy may be defined as “A health care profession concerned with human function and movements and maximizing its potential.” To promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological, and social well-being physical approach is used.[1]

According to the World Confederation of Physical Therapy, “physical therapy is concerned with identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential within spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, rehabilitation.“[2]

Over the years, physiotherapy has evolved as a profession. Physiotherapy as profession specializes in various fields such as musculoskeletal, neurology, cardiorespiratory, community, sports, and oncology.[2],[3]

Onco-physiotherapy is a new specialized branch emerging in this profession which aims to resolve the impairments caused by cancer and its treatment regimes. In different types of cancers depending on the impairments caused different techniques might be necessary for their management. In breast cancer reduction in lymphedema, improving shoulder ROM, reduction in tightness at the shoulder joint, pain, etc., while in lung cancer aims can be to improve total lung capacity; in head and neck cancer interventions used to improve range of motion, speech impairments. Thus, onco-physiotherapy helps to target various aspects of impairments and bring about rehabilitation.[4],[5],[6]

In India, cancer statics shows lung, oral/mouth as the most common cancer in men while breast and cervix as the most common cancer in women.[7] The treatment regimen related to cancer is so exhaustive that it causes many impairments. Physical rehabilitation helps these patients in various aspects of treatment and recovery. There are many studies defining the impact of physical rehabilitation in cancer treatment and improving overall quality of life of the survivors. However, the awareness of this specialized branch of physiotherapy in general population is lesser known.

Objective

The objective is to assess awareness of onco-physiotherapy among urban adult population.


  Subjects and Methods Top


The questionnaire was designed to check the awareness of onco-physiotherapy among the general population. It was validated from physiotherapy practitioners and representative population. Medical terminologies were avoided as much as possible.

The questionnaire aimed to check the respondent's knowledge about onco-physiotherapy. Any exposure to this specialized branch and the knowledge of its effect on the cancer survivors.

The respondents had access to the correct answers after filling the questionnaire so they could self-assess their answers thus bringing about awareness of the specialized branch of onco-physiotherapy.

The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study. The study included adults aged between 18 and 60 years who were able to read and write English and adults who were unable to fill the Google forms were excluded. The study was conducted for duration of 6 months on a total sample size of 323.


  Results Top


It was seen that majority of the population who responded were women (53.3%).

Majority of population were undergraduate (47.4%)

Awareness of physiotherapy

[Figure 1] shows that 84% of population were aware about physiotherapy. Only 2% of population did not know about physiotherapy.
Figure 1: Awareness of physiotherapy

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It was seen that 64% of the population themselves or their family member took physiotherapy treatment.

Awareness about onco-physiotherapy

[Figure 2] shows that only 15.8% of the population who responded they or their family members were diagnosed with cancer and took treatment for the same.
Figure 2: Population diagnosed with cancer

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Only 8% of population who were diagnosed with cancer were referred for physiotherapy.

Majority of population, i.e., 64.1% were not aware about physiotherapy in cancer treatment.

[Table 1] shows that 35% of the population thought physiotherapy will be useful in cancer treatment.
Table 1: Perception of physiotherapy

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57.6% of population thought physiotherapy will not harm the cancer patient.

[Table 2] shows that more than half of the population, i.e., 54.5% population thought that physiotherapy will improve quality of life in cancer survivors.
Table 2: Awareness of oncophysiotherapy

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89.5% population were not aware of onco-physiotherapy setup.

93.5% population said they motivate a cancer survivor to undergo physiotherapy.

[Table 3] shows that 26.3% of population knew physiotherapy will be helpful in any type of cancer. 39.3% of population did not know while 31.6% of population thought physiotherapy will be helpful in bone cancer which implies that physiotherapy is associated with bones.
Table 3: Awareness of physiotherapy in different cancers

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[Table 4] shows that 46.4% population did not know when physiotherapy should be started in cancer patients while 30.7% responded as in all aspects of treatment.
Table 4: Awareness of physiotherapy during different treatment regimens of cancer therapy

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[Table 5] shows that 34.1% of population responded that physiotherapy will be helpful in all conditions.
Table 5: Awareness of physiotherapy in different cancer impairments

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[Table 6] shows that 48% of population were aware of physiotherapy intervention which included breathing exercise, strengthening exercise, cardio exercise, and mobility exercise.
Table 6: Awareness of Different physical therapy treatment strategies in cancer rehabilitation.

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  Discussion Top


The objective of this study was to determine the level of awareness of general population about onco-physiotherapy.

We received 323 responses (the responses from health-care professionals were excluded). It was seen that the age group of this study was 18–60 years.

We found majority of women respondents to the study (n = 172) than the men respondents (n = 151). People with various professional background were involved in this study which included students, engineers, business, designer, teachers, etc. Out of the total responses, 47.4% of the population were undergraduate while 37.8% population were postgraduate.

84.5% population were aware of physiotherapy while 13.6% population reported somewhat awareness about physiotherapy. Among the entire population in the study, 64.1% population were either themselves or their family members were exposed to physiotherapy or taken treatment at some point of time. However, 35.9% population had never taken any physiotherapy treatment. This almost coincides with the results obtained in a study done by Doshi et al. In this study 78% of nonmedical professional knew about physiotherapy and out which 64% population took physiotherapy treatment.[2]

Through the responses obtained only 15.8% population, they themselves or their family members were diagnosed with cancer while only 8% of the population who participated in the study were referred for the onco-physiotherapy. Thus, we can infer that still there is a scope of increasing the referral rate of cancer survivor to onco-physiotherapy treatment. A study by Guru et al. on physiotherapy studies on cancer patients in south India: a survey on 1410 cancer patients concluded that only third of the patients, i.e., 31% population were referred for physiotherapy.[8]

35.9% population who participated in the study were aware of specialized branch of onco-physiotherapy but while asked on whether they think physiotherapy treatment will be useful, we got an ambiguous answer where 35% population responded with yes but 35% responded with may be and 26% responded with do not know. This shows us a lack of awareness of the usefulness of onco-physiotherapy among general population in cancer treatment. Although 57.6% population could correctly answer that physiotherapeutic exercise will not harm the cancer patients still there is the scope of increasing awareness as 34.1% population replied with do not know while 6.8% population replied may be. In the study by Ng et al. a total of 327 cancer patients participated in this study 97% of patients agreed that cancer rehabilitation helps in improving physical function, physical independence, selfcare, hope mood, and spirituality.[9]

When asked on which in type of cancer will physiotherapy will be helpful, we found that majority of the population, i.e., 39.3% population responded with do not know while 31.6% associated with bone cancer thus showing us the age-old correlation of physiotherapy to orthopedic conditions. However, only 26.3% population could correctly answer as any type of cancer. There are many studies done which shows that cancer rehabilitation is helpful in various type of cancer.

Majority of population, i.e., 54.5% could correctly answer that physiotherapy treatment will help to improve quality of life in cancer survivors. However, we still find ambiguity in this question where 33.4% population answered with may be and 10.8% population as do not know. A review literature by Scott and Posmontier on Exercise Interventions to Reduce Cancer-Related Fatigue and Improve Health-Related Quality of Life in Cancer Patients showed that exercise intervention improved cancer-related fatigue and improve overall health-related quality of life. Another study published by Müller et al. on pediatric cancer patients in which a 4-week rehabilitation program was planned and performed on the pediatric patients. They saw that there was an immediate and sustainable increase in health-related quality of life.[10],[11]

Majority of the population (46.4%) answered “do not know” when asked on 'when according to them physiotherapy should be started in cancer survivors' while the correct answer of “in all aspects of treatments” was given by only 30.7% of population. There are many articles supporting this where in physiotherapy is use full in chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and pre- and post-surgery for pain management.[12],[13],[14],[15],[16]

When asked about symptoms management which includes swelling of limb, generalized weakness, stiffness of joint, pain, end of life care with physiotherapy treatment will be helpful only 34.1% could correctly answer all of the above while majority of the population answered with swelling of limb (20.7%), generalized weakness (20.4%), postsurgery (23.2%), pain (22.3%), and stiffness of joint (34.1%). Almost 30.7% population said do not know which shows a lack of awareness about onco-physiotherapy and physiotherapy in general about the management of symptoms in different types of conditions as well as in cancer. A study done by Pyszora et al. on physiotherapy program reduces fatigue in patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative care: randomized controlled trial shows us that physiotherapy is helpful in reducing fatigue. Furthermore, a study by Punzalan and Hyden on The Role of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy in the Rehabilitation of Pediatric and Adolescent Patients with Osteosarcoma tell us about the usefulness of physiotherapy in post-surgery, stiffness of joints. Cho et al. studies show the effect of physical therapy program on breast cancer patients to improve lymphedema, shoulder function, and quality of life.[17],[18],[19]

However, majority of the population, i.e., 48% could correctly answer when asked on which physiotherapy interventions will help to resolve the symptoms in patients diagnosed with cancer while the interventions included were breathing exercise, strengthening exercise, cardio exercise, and mobility exercise. A systemic review by Mishra et al. on Exercise interventions on health-related quality of life for people with cancer during active treatment shows us that breathing exercise, strengthening exercise, cardio exercise, and mobility exercise are all important for patients diagnosed with cancer.[20],[21]

About 89.5% population was not aware about any cancer rehabilitation set up in their area, but we got positive feedback from the population saying 93.5% population affirmatively answered when asked on will they motivate the cancer survivors in their family/friends to undergo physiotherapy.

This shows that though there is positive acceptance about physiotherapy and its treatment efficacy in the general population. Due to lack of awareness about the specialised branch of onco-physiotherapy, there is lack of referrals which in turn hampers efficient cancer management.

The limitation to this study was population was not segregated according to age and history of cancer. The lack of awareness of oncophysiotherapy among in urban adult population and lack of a referral system is the conclusion of this study.

[TAG:2]Conclusion [/TAG:2]

Thus this research concludes that there is lack of awareness of onco-physiotherapy among the general urban population

Acknowledgment

The authors would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of the participants for their participation and support of the principal and faculty of the institute in the conduction of this study. We express our sincere gratitude towards them.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Shimpi A, Writer H, Shyam A, Dabadghav R. Role of physiotherapy in India – A cross-sectional survey to study the awareness and perspective among referring doctors. J Med Thesis 2014;2:18-22.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
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Guru K, Manoor U, Supe SS. Physiotherapy services for cancer patients in South India: A survey. Physiotherapy 2018;12:22-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Ng AH, Gupta E, Fontillas RC, Bansal S, Williams JL, Park M, et al. Patient-reported usefulness of acute cancer rehabilitation. PM R 2017;9:1135-43.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Scott K, Posmontier B. Exercise interventions to reduce cancer-related fatigue and improve health-related quality of life in cancer patients. Holist Nurs Pract 2017;31:66-79.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Müller C, Krauth KA, Gerß J, Rosenbaum D. Physical activity and health-related quality of life in pediatric cancer patients following a 4-week inpatient rehabilitation program. Support Care Cancer 2016;24:3793-802.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
van Waart H, van Dongen JM, van Harten WH, Stuiver MW, Huijsmans R, Hellendoorn-van Vreeswijk JA, et al. Cost-utility and cost-effectiveness of physical exercise during adjuvant chemotherapy. Eur J Health Econ 2018;19:893-904.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
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Van Vulpen JK, Velthuis MJ, Steins Bisschop CN, Travier N, Van Den Buijs BJ, Backx FJ, et al. Effects of an exercise program in colon cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2016;48:767-75.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Sacomori C, Araya-Castro P, Diaz-Guerrero P, Ferrada IA, Martínez-Varas AC, Zomkowski K. Pre-rehabilitation of the pelvic floor before radiation therapy for cervical cancer: A pilot study. Int Urogynecol J 2020;31:2411-8.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
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Samuel SR, Maiya AG, Fernandes DJ, Guddattu V, Saxena PU, Kurian JR, et al. Effectiveness of exercise-based rehabilitation on functional capacity and quality of life in head and neck cancer patients receiving chemo-radiotherapy. Support Care Cancer 2019;27:3913-20.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
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18.
Punzalan M, Hyden G. The role of physical therapy and occupational therapy in the rehabilitation of pediatric and adolescent patients with osteosarcoma. Cancer Treat Res 2009;152:367-84.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
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Cho Y, Do J, Jung S, Kwon O, Jeon JY. Effects of a physical therapy program combined with manual lymphatic drainage on shoulder function, quality of life, lymphedema incidence, and pain in breast cancer patients with axillary web syndrome following axillary dissection. Support Care Cancer 2016;24:2047-57.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
20.
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21.
Messaggi-Sartor M, Marco E, Martínez-Téllez E, Rodriguez-Fuster A, Palomares C, Chiarella S, et al. Combined aerobic exercise and high-intensity respiratory muscle training in patients surgically treated for non-small cell lung cancer: A pilot randomized clinical trial. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2019;55:113-22.  Back to cited text no. 21
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]



 

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  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Subjects and Methods
Results
Discussion
Conclusion
References
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