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From Theory to Practice: An International Approach to Establishing Prehabilitation Programmes

Davis, June F.; van Rooijen, Stefan J.; Grimmett, Chloe; West, Malcom A.; Campbell, Anna M.; Awasthi, Rashami; Slooter, Gerrit D.; Grocott, Michael P.; Carli, Franco; Jack, Sandy


June F. Davis

Stefan J. van Rooijen

Chloe Grimmett

Malcom A. West

Rashami Awasthi

Gerrit D. Slooter

Michael P. Grocott

Franco Carli

Sandy Jack


This article focuses on the following:
*The importance of prehabilitation in people with cancer and the known and hypothesised benefits.
*Exploration of the principles that can be used when developing services in the absence of a single accepted model of how these services could be established or configured.
*Description of approaches and learning in the development and implementation of prehabilitation across three different countries: Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, based on the authors’ experiences and perspectives.

Recent Findings
Practical tips and suggestions are shared by the authors to assist others when implementing prehabilitation programmes. These include experience from three different approaches with similar lessons.

Important elements include the following: (i) starting with a small identified clinical group of patients to refine and test the delivery model and demonstrate proof of concept; (ii) systematic data collection with clearly identified target outcomes from the outset; (iii) collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders including those who will be designing, developing, delivering, funding and using the prehabilitation services; (iv) adapting the model to fit local situations; (v) project leaders who can bring together and motivate a team; (vi) recognition and acknowledgement of the value that each member of a diverse multidisciplinary team brings; (vii) involvement of the whole team in prehabilitation prescription including identification of patients’ levels of risk through appropriate assessment and need-based interventions; (viii) persistence and determination in the development of the business case for sustainable funding; (ix) working with patients ambassadors to develop and advocate for the case for support; and (x) working closely with commissioners of healthcare.

Principles for the implementation of prehabilitation have been set out by sharing the experiences across three countries. These principles should be considered a framework for those wishing to design and develop prehabilitation services in their own areas to maximise success, effectiveness and sustainability.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 3, 2022
Online Publication Date Feb 18, 2022
Publication Date 2022-03
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 21, 2022
Journal Current Anesthesiology Reports
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1
Pages 129-137
Keywords Prehabilitation, Cancer, Surgery, Business case, Multidisciplinary, Multimodal, Team, Implementation
Public URL


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