Delphi Study to Determine Rehabilitation Research Priorities for Older Adults With Cancer

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Conference Proceeding

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Objective To solicit expert opinions and develop consensus around the research that is needed to improve cancer rehabilitation for older adults. Design Delphi methods provided a structured process to elicit and prioritize research questions from national experts. Setting National, Web-based survey. Participants Members (N=32) of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine completed at least 1 of 3 investigator-developed surveys. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures In the first survey, participants identified up to 5 research questions that needed to be answered to improve cancer rehabilitation for older adults. In 2 subsequent surveys, participants viewed the compilation of questions, rated the importance of each question, and identified the 5 most important questions. This generated priority scores for each question. Consensus scores were created to describe the degree of agreement around the priority of each question. Results Highest priority research concerns the epidemiology and measurement of function and disability in older adult cancer survivors; the effects of cancer rehabilitation interventions on falls, disability, participation, survival, costs, quality of care, and health care utilization; and testing models of care that facilitate referrals from oncology to rehabilitation providers as part of coordinated, multicomponent care. Conclusions A multipronged approach is needed to fill these gaps, including targeted funding opportunities developed with an advisory panel of cancer rehabilitation experts, development of a research network to facilitate novel collaborations and grant proposals, and coordinated efforts of clinical groups to advocate for funding, practice change, and policy change.

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Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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