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A three-year national follow-up study on the development of community-level cancer rehabilitation in Denmark

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AIMS: Scandinavian cancer care policies emphasise community-level rehabilitation services, but little is known about changes in service provision over time. This follow-up study explores development in these services in Danish municipalities, focusing on availability, utilisation and organisation of services, including existing opportunities and challenges.

METHODS: A national survey among all 98 Danish municipalities was conducted in 2013 (baseline) and repeated in 2016 (follow-up). The electronic questionnaire comprised closed- and open-ended questions. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 93 municipalities responded (95% response rate) and the services offered primarily comprised group physical activity, dietary advice, smoking cessation and individual counselling on physical activity. The number of patients enrolled was below the estimated number needing rehabilitation in Denmark. Inequality in utilisation by ethnicity, age and gender was reported. Key challenges for the delivery of services were: inadequate referral and recruitment procedures; lack of needs assessment tools; obstacles to ensuring collaboration and referral of patients between hospitals and municipalities; and inadequate evidence on the rehabilitation's effect. Key recommendations include ensuring collaboration between municipalities; provision of diagnosis-specific group-based activities; services focusing on physical activity; and gender-specific activities directed particularly at men.

CONCLUSIONS: This study, which highlights improvements in the provision of community-level cancer rehabilitation, recommends that more effort be made to ensure equality in utilisation across patient groups, improved integration of municipal-level services into cancer care trajectories, more uniform documentation of service delivery and the enforcement of patient outcomes to gradually build a more robust evidence base for community-level cancer rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Volume47
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)511-518
Number of pages8
ISSN1403-4948
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, quantitative longitudinal, health services research, rehabilitation, Cancer, Neoplasms/rehabilitation, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Community Health Services/organization & administration, Health Services Accessibility, Denmark, Female, Rehabilitation Centers/organization & administration, Cities, Health Care Surveys

ID: 52176591