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Call for papers - Palliative rehabilitation

Guest Editors

May Aasebø Hauken, RN, cand.polit., PhD, University of Bergen, Norway
Lise Nottelmann, MD, PhD, Aarhus University, Denmark
Line M. Oldervoll, PhD, University of Bergen, Norway
Marc Sampedro Pilegaard, OT, MSc, PhD, Gødstrup Hospital, DEFACTUM, Aarhus University, Denmark
Dorothy W. Tolchin, MD, EdM, Harvard Medical School and Mass General Brigham, USA

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 6 January 2025

BMC Palliative Care is welcoming submissions to a Collection titled Palliative rehabilitation that will explore rehabilitative strategies for individuals facing advanced or incurable diseases. We invite researchers to contribute their insight to foster an understanding on how rehabilitative palliative care can enhance the quality of life and preserve patient autonomy in individuals.

New Content ItemThis Collection supports and amplifies research related to SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being.

Meet the Guest Editors

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May Aasebø Hauken, RN, cand.polit., PhD, University of Bergen, Norway

May Aasebø Hauken is educated as a nurse with long clinical practice in cancer care, especially related to palliation. She holds a PhD in cancer rehabilitation and is a professor in health psychology and health promotion at Centre for Crisis Psychology at University of Bergen, Norway. Hauken has published a range of peer reviewed papers, popular scientific papers, and book chapters related to different aspects of cancer care. She is currently connected to the international EU-project, INSPIRE, related to palliative rehabilitation. 

Lise Nottelmann, MD, PhD, Aarhus University, Denmark

Lise Nottelmann earned her medical degree in 2008. Since then she has mainly worked in clinical oncology and specialized palliative care. In 2019, she did her PhD thesis on early, integrated palliative care in oncology. She conducted the Pal-Rehab randomized controlled study at Vejle Hospital in Denmark incorporating elements of rehabilitation into the holistic model of palliative care and found that a 12-week individually tailored palliative rehabilitation intervention integrated in standard oncology care significantly improved the patient’s quality of life and emotional functioning. She is currently working on the INSPIRE (Integrated Short-term Rehabilitation in Incurable Cancer) project and the EAPC Taskforce on Rehabilitation in Palliative Care (not diagnosis specific). 

Line M. Oldervoll, PhD, University of Bergen, Norway

Line Oldervoll is Professor at Centre for Crisis Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway. Her main research area is physical exercise and rehabilitation in patients with serious somatic illness, in particular cancer patients. Oldervoll has extensive experience with quantitative data using both objective physical performance- and subjective measurement methods in her research. She is currently Lead on two work packages in the EU-Horizon project Integrated Short-Term Palliative Rehabilitation in Incurable Cancer (INSPIRE), under Scientific Lead Professor Matthew Maddocks, Kings College London. She is leader of the National Cancer Rehabilitation Network in Norway.

Marc Sampedro Pilegaard, OT, MSc, PhD, Gødstrup Hospital, DEFACTUM, Aarhus University, Denmark

Marc Sampedro Pilegaard, occupational therapist, is currently working as Senior Researcher at Social Medicine and Rehabilitation, Gødstrup Hospital and at DEFACTUM, Central Denmark Region and as Associate Professor at Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University. Pilegaard has been involved in national and international research projects focusing on both rehabilitation and palliative care. He has published book chapters and peer-reviewed articles about palliative rehabilitation and has been chair for an international task force group under the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) focusing on occupational therapy in palliative care. 

Dorothy W. Tolchin, MD, EdM, Harvard Medical School and Mass General Brigham, USA

Dorothy W. Tolchin is a physiatrist with sub-specialty fellowship training in neuromuscular disease and hospice and palliative medicine. She is the Director of Medical Student Education for the Harvard Medical School/Mass General Brigham Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Co-Director of the longitudinal curriculum theme in geriatrics and palliative care at Harvard Medical School. Her scholarly work in palliative care focuses on curriculum innovation and advancing national discourse at the intersection of rehabilitation and palliative care. Dr Tolchin is also Founding Director of the Integrated Longitudinal Disability and Anti-Ableism Curriculum at Harvard Medical School. She presents nationally and internationally on comprehensive care for individuals with disabilities, the landscape of disability education in undergraduate and graduate medical education, and the development of disability curricula and inclusive learning environments. Dr Tolchin received her AB, EdM, and MD from Harvard.

About the Collection

People with advanced life-limiting illnesses face varying degrees of symptom burden that affect their functioning. Rehabilitation in palliative care is crucial to support best possible functioning in those individuals despite facing these progressive, often advanced, or incurable illnesses. It helps people achieve their physical, psychological, and social potential and thus, helps maintain their quality of life in the time remaining. Focusing on functioning can be used as means of alleviating suffering. In other words, rehabilitation in palliative care is about enabling people to live fully until they die. The World Health Organization therefore recommends rehabilitation in palliative care as best practice to meet the growing demands and needs from those living with advanced life-limiting illnesses. Although there is a growing body of evidence showing the potential of rehabilitation in palliative care, the concept is still not well understood by health professionals or service users.  

With these challenges in mind, BMC Palliative Care is launching this Collection on Palliative rehabilitation. We welcome submissions that delve into the intricacies of palliative care, encompassing aspects such as decision-making processes, interdisciplinary collaboration, patient autonomy, and the impact of rehabilitation of quality of life. We are also interested in:

  • Approaches to rehabilitation in palliative care
  • Effectiveness of early rehabilitation in palliative care interventions
  • Comparative analysis of rehabilitation concepts in palliative care
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration in improving patient outcomes
  • Holistic symptom management in rehabilitation in palliative care interventions
  • Patient and caregiver perspectives on rehabilitation in palliative care
  • Longitudinal studies on quality of life as it pertains to improving functioning, symptom management, and psychosocial well-being
  • Technology and innovation in rehabilitation in palliative care

Image credit: motortion /

There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select Palliative rehabilitation from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.