Abstract: The role of physiotherapy in palliative cancer care is a relatively new specialty and has only recently been described. The evidence base for physiotherapy in this setting remains poor. Outcomes of physiotherapy input have been mainly measured in terms of improved functional capacity in trials to date. While the conceptual basis for physiotherapy in this setting includes the model of cancer rehabilitation, and its related outcomes of functional improvement, it also contains a much wider remit, incorporating the wider ethos of palliative care that involves patient support, patient satisfaction and improvements in quality of life. Outcome measures used by physiotherapists should reflect this variety of input. This paper discusses the theoretical models underpinning physiotherapy input, and relates them to suggested outcome measures in the palliative cancer population. Thus, the paper provides a framework for measuring physiotherapy in palliative cancer care.
Keywords: Palliative Care, Outcome measures, Physiotherapy, Cancer