Rehabilitation model program for seriously ill patients
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Submission date: 2014-07-05
Final revision date: 2014-08-20
Acceptance date: 2014-08-20
Online publication date: 2014-10-09
Publication date: 2014-10-09
Health Psychology Report 2014;2(4):263–268
Patients receiving cancer treatment start lifestyle changes mostly at the end of the treatment during the rehabilitation period. Most often, the first step is a dietary change and physical exercises built into the daily routine. Patients who do this in groups led by qualified therapists and based on professional counseling can build more effective and more permanent changes into their life.
To develop a complex rehabilitation program which, in the short term, aims to familiarize patients with a lifestyle which harmonizes the physical, mental, spiritual and social spheres of life and, in the long term, to build it into their everyday life in order to ameliorate the physical and mental state and reduce the psychological symptoms and the isolation of patients. The physical component focuses on diet and exercise. The psycho-social-spiritual support focuses on discovering inner sources of strength, developing active coping mechanisms and helping to achieve more open communication.

Participants and procedure
In February and March 2011, 8 patients treated for malignant tumors participated in the model program. The components of the model program were psychotherapy, physiotherapy, cancer consultation, nutrition counseling, creative activities and walking.

During the period of the model program the isolation of the patients decreased and their social support and ability of coping with the illness ameliorated. They reported an ease in anxiety and depression in their everyday activities. According to feedback, their communication with each other, with the staff and with their relatives became more open. Altogether this had advantageous effects on the functioning of the ward and the mood of the staff.

The rehabilitation program confirmed that beside individual psycho-social support, beneficial and economic psycho-social support can be provided for the patients in group form along with the most effective assignment of the resources of the staff.
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