The importance of physical therapy and occupational therapy in palliative and hospice medicine (review)




physical therapy, occupational therapy, palliative care, hospice care


Higher level of functional incapacity and invalidity is noted in palliative patients, as a result of disease progression,  which is the reason for a significant decrease in the quality of life not only of these patients, but also of the family members who care for them. Physical therapy and occupational therapy are aimed at improving the patient's quality of life through rehabilitation measures to restore body function, ensure physical independence and activity, optimal physical condition and well-being, and patient adaptation in the environment. Aim: to review modern literary sources regarding the relevance of physical therapy and occupational therapy in palliative and hospice care. The search for literary sources was carried out in international scientometric databases: PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar. The search depth is 13 years (from 2010 to 2022). The review indicates that physical therapy and occupational therapy in palliative and hospice medicine around the world are not used enough today. These two specialties of interdisciplinary treatment in palliative and hospice medicine play an important integral role, which is manifested in improving the quality of life of both patients and their family members who care for them through the use of a wide variety of methods. Hospice physical therapists not only help patients to support/keep functional abilities as long as possible, but also to reduce the burden on persons who care for terminally ill patients. Physical and occupational therapy have numerous benefits for patients with progressive life-threatening illnesses in palliative and hospice care. Physical therapy in palliative and hospice care can have a preventive, educational, and/or supportive function depending on the patient's situation. There is especially large deficiency in palliative physical therapy and occupational therapy among adolescents and young people, which requires wide implementation with high-quality training of relevant specialists. Physical therapy and occupational therapy play an important role in palliative and hospice care; all patients in palliative and hospice care, regardless of illness or severity, should have access to physical and occupational therapy based on individual needs.


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How to Cite

Raznatovska О, Kanygina S, Yasinskyi R, Fedorec A, Svitlytska O. The importance of physical therapy and occupational therapy in palliative and hospice medicine (review). Med. perspekt. [Internet]. 2023Jun.30 [cited 2024Jul.17];28(2):35-41. Available from: