Background Inpatient rehabilitation improves physical and psychosocial performance in childhood cancer patients and their families. Two kinds of inpatient rehabilitation are available in specialized institutions in Germany: family-oriented rehabilitation or peer group-oriented rehabilitation for adolescents and young adults (AYA). Our study aimed to find out what Swiss childhood and AYA cancer patients and their families thought about the rehabilitation programs in which they had participated.
Patients and methods We conducted a questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study of Swiss childhood and AYA cancer patients and their families whose inpatient rehabilitation stays were scheduled to take place in Germany between May 2012 and March 2019. We analyzed the data descriptively and present our findings in accordance with the STROBE statement.
Results Of the 57 eligible families contacted, 38 (67%) responded. Most rated the rehabilitation stay as very good (68%) or good (26%). Nearly all participants emphasized that these programs should be available to all affected patients and their families. Most (80%) thought the program gave them enough valuable information to enable them to cope with daily life after the stay ended. Only one fifth (19%) of the rehabilitation stays were fully funded by the health or disability insurance.
Conclusion Participants expressed an overwhelmingly positive opinion about the rehabilitation programs they attended. We are convinced that childhood and AYA cancer patients and their families in Switzerland benefit from these programs and encourage insurances to cover the costs.