Knowledge and Awareness of Physiotherapy among Cancer Survivors

Main Article Content

Shaiwana Masood
Sadaf Ali
Aisha Sayyeda
Hina Rafique
Priyanka Ratan Kumar


Background: Despite the established benefits of physiotherapy in oncology care, there remains a substantial gap in the awareness and utilization of rehabilitation services among cancer patients. The role of physiotherapy in improving the quality of life and functional independence of cancer survivors is well-documented, yet the integration of these services into standard cancer care protocols is not uniformly practiced.

Objective: This study aimed to assess the level of awareness and the barriers to physiotherapy among oncology patients in a tertiary care hospital, with an emphasis on understanding the gender-specific differences in awareness and interest in physiotherapy services.

Methods: A six-month cross-sectional survey was conducted at a tertiary care hospital in Sindh, employing a non-probability convenience sampling technique to recruit 318 participants. The sample size was determined using Raosoft sampling software, with a 95% confidence level, 5% margin of error, and 50% response distribution. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaires, focusing on patients' awareness of and interest in physiotherapy, and analyzed using SPSS version 25.0, with chi-square tests applied to assess statistical significance.

Results: The study found that only 17.3% of participants were aware of physiotherapy services, with significant gender differences in awareness (p=0.013) and interest (p=0.326) observed. Barriers to physiotherapy utilization included pain (91.5%), fatigue (90.6%), and financial constraints (78.9%). A stark 84.6% of patients reported not being informed about physiotherapy during their treatment.

Conclusion: The low level of awareness and significant barriers to accessing physiotherapy among cancer patients highlight the critical need for enhanced educational programs and improved communication between oncology and rehabilitation professionals. Addressing these gaps is essential for integrating physiotherapy into cancer care, thereby improving patient outcomes and quality of life.

Article Details

How to Cite
Pinky, Masood, S., Ali, S., Sayyeda, A., Rafique, H., & Kumar , P. R. (2024). Knowledge and Awareness of Physiotherapy among Cancer Survivors. Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Research, 4(1), 1036–1040.
Author Biographies

Pinky, Liaquat University Of Medical And Health Sciences Jamshoro Hyderabad Pakistan.

Lecturer, Institute of Physiotherapy And Rehabilitation Sciences, Liaquat University Of Medical And Health Sciences Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Pakistan.

Shaiwana Masood, Bridge Consultant Foundation Karachi Pakistan.

Project manager, HIV/AIDS, Bridge consultant foundation Karachi, Pakistan

Sadaf Ali, The Aga Khan Maternal & Child Care Centre Hyderabad Pakistan.

Physiotherapist, The Aga Khan Maternal & Child Care Centre, Hyderabad, Pakistan.

Aisha Sayyeda, Bridge Consultants Foundation Hyderabad Pakistan.

Physiotherapist, Public Health Officer, Bridge Consultants Foundation, Hyderabad, Pakistan.

Hina Rafique, Memon Medical Institute Hospital Karachi Pakistan.

House Officer, Department Of Physical & Rehabilitative Medicine, Memon Medical Institute Hospital Karachi Pakistan.

Priyanka Ratan Kumar , Dow University of Health Sciences Karachi Pakistan.

Lecturer, National Institute of Physical Therapy And Rehabilitation Sciences, Dow University of Health Sciences Karachi Pakistan.


Ioanaa M, Cristina-Elenab M. A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF EXERCISE IN MEDICAL RECOVERY. Interdisciplinary Journal of Physical Education and Sports. 2023;23(1).

Nicholls DA. Where history is concerned: an editorial for the special issue on physiotherapy history. Taylor & Francis; 2021. p. 355-8.

Paul A, Mullerpatan R. Review of physiotherapy awareness across the globe. International Journal of Health Sciences and Research. 2015;5(10):294-301.

Oliver Z. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Academic Page; 2021.

Weis J, Giesler JM. Rehabilitation for cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology. 2018:105-22.

Dennett AM, Sarkies M, Shields N, Peiris CL, Williams C, Taylor NF. Multidisciplinary, exercise-based oncology rehabilitation programs improve patient outcomes but their effects on healthcare service-level outcomes remain uncertain: a systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy. 2021;67(1):12-26.


Ali A, Manzoor MF, Ahmad N, Aadil RM, Qin H, Siddique R, et al. The burden of cancer, government strategic policies, and challenges in Pakistan: A comprehensive review. Frontiers in nutrition. 2022;9:940514.

Bailey SR, Berger TR, Graham C, Larson RC, Maus MV. Four challenges to CAR T cells breaking the glass ceiling. European Journal of Immunology. 2023;53(11):2250039.

Cheville A, Smith S, Barksdale T, Asher A. Cancer rehabilitation. Braddom's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2021:568-93. e7.

Bennardi M, Diviani N, Gamondi C, Stüssi G, Saletti P, Cinesi I, et al. Palliative care utilization in oncology and hemato-oncology: a systematic review of cognitive barriers and facilitators from the perspective of healthcare professionals, adult patients, and their families. BMC palliative care. 2020;19:1-17.

Samuel SR, Acharya S, Rao JC. School Interventions–based Prevention of Early‐Childhood Caries among 3–5‐year‐old children from very low socioeconomic status: Two‐year randomized trial. Journal of public health dentistry. 2020;80(1):51-60.

Stout NL, Santa Mina D, Lyons KD, Robb K, Silver JK. A systematic review of rehabilitation and exercise recommendations in oncology guidelines. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians. 2021;71(2):149-75.

Campagna M, Loscerbo R, Pilia I, Meloni F. Return to work of breast cancer survivors: perspectives and challenges for occupational physicians. Cancers. 2020;12(2):355.

Haque M, Rahman NAA, McKimm J, Binti Abdullah SL, Islam MZ, Zulkifli Z, et al. A cross-sectional study evaluating the knowledge and beliefs about, and the use of antibiotics amongst Malaysian university students. Expert review of anti-infective therapy. 2019;17(4):275-84.

Brennan L, Sheill G, O’Neill L, O’Connor L, Smyth E, Guinan E. Physical therapists in oncology settings: experiences in delivering cancer rehabilitation services, barriers to care, and service development needs. Physical therapy. 2022;102(3):pzab287.

Yildiz Kabak V, Gursen C, Aytar A, Akbayrak T, Duger T. Physical activity level, exercise behavior, barriers, and preferences of patients with breast cancer–related lymphedema. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2021;29:3593-602.

Mina DS, Au D, Brunet J, Jones J, Tomlinson G, Taback N, et al. Effects of the community-based Wellspring Cancer Exercise Program on functional and psychosocial outcomes in cancer survivors. Current Oncology. 2017;24(5):284-94.

Doshi D, Jiandani M, Gadgil R, Shetty N. Physiotherapy awareness in medical and non medical population: A social media survey. Int J Physiother Res. 2017;5(2):1971-5.

Nadler M, Bainbridge D, Tomasone J, Cheifetz O, Juergens RA, Sussman J. Oncology care provider perspectives on exercise promotion in people with cancer: an examination of knowledge, practices, barriers, and facilitators. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2017;25:2297-304.

Alderman G, Keegan R, Semple S, Toohey K. Physical activity for people living with cancer: knowledge, attitudes, and practices of general practitioners in Australia. PLoS one. 2020;15(11):e0241668.

Ebenezer CM, Goh C, Jemeela S, Abraham MM, Jabbar M. Awareness and knowledge of physiotherapy among medical and health sciences students: A Cross-Sectional Study. Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology. 2019;12(4):1695-706.