Medizinisch-beruflich orientierte Rehabilitation bei Krebs: Eine clusterrandomisierte Multicenterstudie

Translated title of the contribution: Work-related medical rehabilitation in cancer - A cluster-randomized multicenter study

David Fauser*, Julian Wienert, Bijan Zomorodbakhsch, Jan Schmielau, Irene Biester, Hans Ulrich Krüger, Angelika Presl, Matthias Bethge

*Corresponding author for this work


BACKGROUND: Current guidelines recommend rehabilitative measures to alleviate dis- turbances resulting from cancer and its treatment. To give cancer survivors further assistance in getting back to work, work-related medical rehabilitation is currently being tested in Germany. In this cluster-randomized, multicenter trial, we studied the efficacy of work-related medical rehabilitation compared with conventional medical rehabilitation (trial no. DRKS00007770 in the German Clinical Trials Registry).

METHODS: A total of 484 cancer survivors of working age who were candidates for rehabilitation were recruited and assigned at random to either the intervention group (IG; work-related medical rehabilitation) or the control group (CG). The primary end- point was self-assessed function in a role one year after the end of rehabilitation, as evaluated with the health-related quality of life questionnaire of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC QLQ-C30). Further endpoints included symptom and function scales, subjective ability to work, coping with illness, and return to work. Neither the medical personnel nor the subjects were blinded.

RESULTS: One year after the end of rehabilitation, data from 379 subjects who par- ticipated in the last follow-up survey were evaluated. The intervention and control groups did not differ significantly either in the primary endpoint of role function (IG = 60.8 vs. CG = 57.6 out of a maximum of 100 points; p = 0.204) or in any of the secondary endpoints. A last observation carried forward analysis yielded com- parable results. At 12 months, 28.5% of the subjects in the IG and 25.3% of those in the CG were still unable to work.

CONCLUSION: This study did not reveal any significant clinically relevant advantage of work-related medical rehabilitation at one year. Future studies should determine whether a second period of rehabilitation might be helpful and whether selected subjects might benefit from the assistance of case managers beyond the period of rehabilitation.

Translated title of the contributionWork-related medical rehabilitation in cancer - A cluster-randomized multicenter study
Original languageGerman
JournalDeutsches Arzteblatt International
Issue number35-36
Pages (from-to)592-599
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 02.09.2019


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