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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


PENAS-FELIZZOLA, Olga L.; PARRA-ESQUIVEL, Eliana I.  and  GOMEZ-GALINDO, Ana M.. Occupational therapy in oncology: experiences in academic practices and literature review. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2018, vol.20, n.1, pp.45-52. ISSN 0124-0064.


To inquire about the training of occupational therapists in oncology in a university program, and to identify updated literature as evidence for training and professional practice.

Materials and Methods

Cross-sectional exploratory study, with a sample of 29 students of occupational therapy from the National University of Colombia. Systematic review of literature 2010-2015 on occupational therapy interventions in oncology. Results In the survey, less than a quarter of the students reported having received training on clinical management of this diagnosis, and on the intervention of the occupational therapist with such cases (24.1%). Little more than this percentage (27.6%), has had users with cancer in their academic practices. In the literature review no national publications were found, although there were unpublished products from Colombian universities. Fifty-four international publications were recovered, especially in rehabilitation, it followed by psychosocial and socio-occupational areas. The palliative care, the multidisciplinarity, the subjective experience of the patient in relation to the diagnosis and treatment, the humanized and integral care from the different areas of the therapeutic task and work with caregivers are considered as relevant issues in the oncological patient's approach.


Reference points are made for the occupational therapy curriculum development and for professional updating processes, which are both competence of the academy and of the guild. It is important to intervene in cancer not only during, but in the preparation to treatment and subsequently with survivors. Professional publications should be encouraged, making sure they provide powerful evidence of the impact of occupational therapy and oncological rehabilitation.

Keywords : Occupational therapy; neoplasms; education professional; comprehensive health care (source: MeSH, NLM).

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