Differences in physical function across cancer recovery phases: Findings from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey

Ickpyo Hong, Kimberly Hreha, Maria Chang Swartz, Monique R. Pappadis, Kyungtae Yoo, Mansoo Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Recent cancer survivors (<2 years post-diagnosis) report poorer general health and physical weakness compared to long-term cancer survivors (≥2 years post-diagnosis), but differences in functional limitations are unknown. It is unclear which daily tasks are more difficult for recent versus long-term survivors. We aimed to examine differences in functional performances across cancer recovery phases as potential targets for functional impairment screening. Method: The cohort consisted of adults with a cancer history in the 2015 National Health Interview Survey (n = 2372). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds of having difficulty in health-related outcomes across the cancer recovery phases (recent versus long-term). Results: Most subjects were long-term survivors (84.9%). Recent survivors were more likely to have difficulty in work, mobility-related daily tasks and social participation compared to long-term survivors. No differences were found in basic activities of daily living, cognition and emotional functioning between the groups. Conclusion: While recent cancer survivors were independent in basic daily tasks, they had difficulties in performing daily tasks that required a high level of physical function. Clinicians, especially occupational therapists, should prioritize evaluating physical functioning to guide intervention planning for recent cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Cancer survivors
  • health surveys
  • occupational therapy
  • physical functional performance
  • retrospective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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