The prevalence of potentially modifiable functional deficits and the subsequent use of occupational and physical therapy by older adults with cancer.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Occupational and physical therapy (OT/PT) services seek to reduce morbidity, mortality, and improve the quality of life of individuals; however, little is known about the needs and use of OT/PT for older adults with cancer. The goal of this study was to describe the functional deficits and their associations with other factors, and to examine the use of OT/PT after a noted functional deficit. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study analyzed data from an institution-based registry that included geriatric assessments of older adults with cancer linked to billing claims data. Logistic regression was used to model predictors of functional deficits. Use of OT/PT was determined and validated with medical chart review. RESULTS: 529 patients with cancer, a median age of 71, 78% were female, 87% Caucasian, 57% married, 53% post-secondary education, and 63% with breast cancer were included. In a multivariable model, the odds of having any functional deficits increased with age [5 year OR: 1.31, 95% CI: (1.10, 1.57)] were higher for those with a high school diploma versus those with advanced degrees [OR: 1.66, 95% CI: (1.00, 2.77)] and were higher for patients with comorbidities [OR: 1.15, 95% CI: (1.10, 1.21)]. Of patients with functional deficits only 9% (10/111) received OT/PT within 12 months of a noted deficit. DISCUSSION: The odds of having any potentially modifiable functional deficit were higher in patients with increasing age, comorbid conditions, and with less than a college degree. Few were referred for OT/PT services suggesting major underutilization of these potentially beneficial services.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pergolotti, M; Deal, AM; Lavery, J; Reeve, BB; Muss, HB

Published Date

  • May 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 194 - 201

PubMed ID

  • 25614296

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25614296

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-4076

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jgo.2015.01.004


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands