THE FUTURE OF CANCER PREHABILITATION

Various models of cancer prehabilitation will undoubtedly emerge and be tested. The convenience of having nurse navigators present on the front end at diagnosis will provide an excellent opportunity for them to be involved. Nurses, too, will need to transition from what they are doing or have done in the past with new cancer patients and move toward incorporating more sophisticated, evidence-based protocols for pretreatment assessments, interventions, and documentation of improved outcomes. In a high-quality oncology model that includes prehabilitation services, there is a need to identify core competencies for nurses and other clinicians, provide training to develop the skills necessary to deliver high-quality care, and access ongoing continuing education as the research in this area rapidly expands. This will be challenging and require a commitment of the time and resources necessary to ensure expertise in the delivery of cancer prehabilitation care. With this challenge, however, comes a unique opportunity to show the value of nurses in high-quality cancer care from diagnosis onward.

Acknowledgment The author acknowledges and thanks Julie A. Poorman, PhD, for her assistance with manuscript preparation.


Julie Silver is associate professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; attending physician, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Network, Boston; clinical associate, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; and associate in physiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. 


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