Pediatric rehabilitation and pediatric oncology: A winner association: The experience of Grenoble pediatric hospital

  • Bourg V
  • Descotes A
  • Pagnier A
  • et al.
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Opinion/Feedback The Child and Family Hospital of Grenoble is one of the rare university hospitals in France to benefit from the presence of a physician specializing in rehabilitation medicine. This hospital includes both inpatient and outpatient units. During the temporary closure of one department, certain members of the rehabilitation unit were reassigned to the acute care wards of the pediatric department, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Over the course of one year, these therapists completed more than 150 interventions in this department, more than half of which were in the hematology and oncology ward. The most common requests were for speech therapy interventions to maintain and improve swallowing and feeding in the prolonged presence of a nasogastric tube as well as the prevention and follow-up for swallowing difficulties in brain tumor patients. The second most common request was for the assistance of an occupational therapist with wheelchair use, both to allow patients to sit upright early in good conditions and to analyze the conditions necessary for a patient to return home. The teamwork between the speech and occupational therapists is invaluable for patients learning to use voice synthesis software. Finally, care from a physical therapist allows for the maintenance of motor skills during oncological as well as orthopedic care. The data we report calls for the creation and systematic use of a rehabilitation medicine team in the pediatric oncology ward. Requests increased over the course of the year, showing that pediatricians became more and more aware of the benefits offered by these therapists. We observe that improvement is present regardless of the prognosis, from the beginning of treatment to the sometimes prolonged rehabilitation process, including situations of palliative care. The integration within the Child and Family Hospital allows for quick coordination that improves the quality of care. Improvement in quality of life is always observed by reducing patients' hospital stays and allowing them to return home more quickly as well as expediting the process of choosing the most suitable form of rehabilitation.




Bourg, V., Descotes, A., Pagnier, A., Griffet, J., & Plantaz, D. (2016). Pediatric rehabilitation and pediatric oncology: A winner association: The experience of Grenoble pediatric hospital. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 59, e169–e170.

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