Occupational Therapy

  • Meilani Mapa
  • Jason ChenEmail author


This chapter is an overview of occupational therapy as it relates to cancer pain. Authors discuss the philosophy, principles, practice, and purpose of occupational therapy in the maintenance of satisfactory activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (iADLs) in those physically impaired due to cancer.

This chapter will touch on the domains and treatment options for patients with cancer-related pain, therapy considerations during treatment, and therapy options for the common side effects of cancer.

It further discusses the role of occupational therapy and occupational interventions throughout the continuum of cancer care.


Cancer rehabilitation Occupational therapy Prehab Cancer-related pain 


  1. 1.
    Punwar AJ. Occupational therapy: principles and practice. 3rd ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000. Print.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    American Occupational Therapy Association. Occupational therapy practice framework: domain and process. Am J Occup Ther. 2002;56:609–39.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    DeLisa JA, Gans BM. Physical medicine and rehabilitation: principles and practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005. Print.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kielhofner G. Conceptual foundations of occupational therapy practice. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis; 2009. Print.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hugh CW, Godden D, Perkins CS. Splinting the radial forearm free flap donor site. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2003;41(3):193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cooper J. Occupational therapy intervention with radiation induced brachial plexopathy. Eur J Cancer Care. 1998;7(2):88–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Braddom R. Physical medicine and rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2000.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps. N.p.: n.p., 2003. Web.
  9. 9.
    Cooper J. Occupational therapy in oncology and palliative care. Chichester: Wiley; 2006. PrintGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rehab Measures – Functional Independence Measure. The rehabilitation measures database. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2014.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nagarajan K, Bennett A, Agostini P, Naidu B. Is preoperative physiotherapy/pulmonary rehabilitation beneficial in lung resection patients? Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2011;13(3):300–2. Oxford Journals. Oxford Journals. Web.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Drouin J, Pfalzer C. Physical therapy precautions persons with cancer. Website of the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability. 2009.
  13. 13.
    Okeefe M. “Oncology basics: red flags and special considerations” Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer symposium. Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center. May 2013. New York. Lecture.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Stubblefield MD, O’Dell MW. Cancer rehabilitation principles and practice. New York: Demos Medical; 2009. Print.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    McCormack G. Pain management by occupational therapists. Am J Occup Ther. 1988;42(9):582–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    National Cancer Institute. Fatigue (PDQ®) -. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
  17. 17.
    Cooper J. Occupational therapy in oncology and palliative care. Chichester: Wiley; 2006. PrintGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Visovsky C. Putting evidence into practice: evidence based interventions for chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2007;11(6):901–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mohler III ER. Clinical manifestions and diagnosis of lymphedema. In: UpToDate, Post TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham. Accessed 21 Jan 2014.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Harris S. Clinical proactive guidelines for the care and treatment of breast cancer: 11 lymphedema. CMAJ. 2001;164(2):191–9.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    American Physical Therapy Association. Guide to physical therapist practice. 2nd ed. Alexandria: APTA; 2001.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mohler III ER. Prevention and treatment of lymphedema. In: UpToDate, Post TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham. Accessed 21 Jan 2014.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bromberg MB. Brachial plexus syndromes. In: UpToDate, Post TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham. Accessed 23 Jan 2014.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Stubblefield M. “The radiation fibrosis syndrome” memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer symposium. Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer center. New York: Lecture; 2013.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Weiss E. Clinical manifestation and treatment of radiation-induced fibrosis. In: UpToDate, post TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham. Accessed 8 July 2014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Memorial Rehabilitation Institute, Memorial Healthcare Systems, Division of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationHollywoodUSA
  2. 2.McGovern Medical School at UT Health, Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations