“I like the booklet; I think it is helpful and will be very informative to many people. It explains what can really happen when you are at home. The drawings are nice and clear and do help me understand what is being explained. Actually, I was doing some of the things naturally but its good to read that I am doing it right!” explains Marie O., being treated for cancer at the MUHC.

By Monica Slanik and Dr. Judith Soicher, McGill School of Physical and Occupational Therapy

A new booklet for cancer patients living with bone metastases is now available to patients via the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) patient education website. The booklet contains illustrated and written information about bone metastases, guidelines for seeking medical care, and helpful sections on fracture prevention. How to move with care, how to stay safe in different environments and how to follow an exercise program prescribed by a physical therapist are all explained in this practical patient resource.

Studies show that one of the most common problems for people living with cancer is a lack of information on how to achieve maximum physical, social, and vocational functioning within the limits imposed by the disease and its treatment (Gamble, Gerberm Spill & Paul, 2011).  Following their diagnosis, these patients do not always receive the necessary guidance for safe activity and may therefore end up putting themselves at greater risk for injury and fracture.

The idea for the booklet originated from a simple conversation between two physical therapists who also identified the lack of educational material for this type of patient. The physical therapists, Marize Ibrahim, then at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH), and Dr. Judith Soicher, a faculty member at McGill University’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy approached Dr. Nancy Posel, Director of the MUHC Patient Education Office.  Two years later, the idea turned into reality, with four physical and occupational therapy students taking on the initiative as their final-year project. With the students working under the supervision of Ms. Ibrahim, Dr. Posel and Dr. Soicher, a collaboration of the three institutions and an inter-professional team including physical therapists, an occupational therapist, nurses, an oncology surgeon, a medical illustrator, and patient education specialists, helped bring the booklet to fruition.

Physiotherapist, Marize Ibrahim, who worked on the patient booklet, explaining patient education material to a patient.

The booklet can be found on the MUHC Patient Education website and is available in English and in French.

PDF link to English version : Living Safely with Bone Metastases

January 31, 2019