Little is known of cancer rehabilitation needs in Europe. EUROCHIP-3 organised a group of experts to propose a list of population-based indicators used for describing cancer rehabilitation across Europe. The aim of this study is to present and discuss these indicators. A EUROCHIP-3 expert panel reached agreement on two types of indicators. (a) Cancer prevalence indicators. These were proposed as a means of characterising the burden of cancer rehabilitation needs by time from diagnosis and patient health status. These indicators can be estimated from cancer registry data or by collecting data on follow-up and treatments for samples of cases archived in cancer registries. (b) Indicators of rehabilitation success. These include: return to work, quality of life, and satisfaction of specific rehabilitation needs. Studies can be performed to estimate these indicators in individual countries, but to obtain comparable data across European countries it will be necessary to administer a questionnaire to randomly selected samples of patients from population-based cancer registry databases. However, three factors complicate questionnaire studies: patients may not be aware that they have cancer; incomplete participation in surveys could lead to bias; and national confidentiality laws in some cases prohibit cancer registries from approaching patients. Although these studies are expensive and difficult to perform, but as the number of cancer survivors increases, it is important to document their needs in order to provide information on cancer control.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.