REHAB spearheads iCARE, Hawaii’s first cancer rehabilitation program

Sponsored by REHAB Hospital of the Pacific

In October 2016, REHAB launched iCARE, Hawaii’s first-ever cancer rehabilitation program. It was designed with the goal of increasing the functional status and quality of life for all cancer patients and survivors, and allowed experts to study how cancer rehabilitation can help people cope with the physical and emotional side effects related to their cancer experience.

The study on the impact of exercise for cancer patients was spearheaded by Cheri Teranishi-Hashimoto as Research Coordinator in partnership with Dr. Paulette Yamada from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The team conducted over two years of extensive research to see if a consistent exercise program would help combat common side effects of cancer-related treatments, like fatigue, muscle weakness, pain and numbness.

The study demonstrated beneficial improvements in:
Cardiorespiratory endurance
Pulmonary function
Muscular strength and endurance
Body composition
Subjective reports on improvements in quality of life, fatigue levels, social support and nutritional knowledge

Teranishi-Hashimoto says the positive reports from the participants and their experience is motivation to work towards ensuring the program will be available for survivors well into the future.

Nina Rappeline and Lynn Taguma both participated in the iCARE program because they were interested to see how exercise would help in their recovery after cancer and wanted to be part of the effort to educate and help others who have been affected. They found that exercise and movement really are the best medicine for the body while recovering and also made trusted friendships with other participants, learning from them and supporting one another on this journey.

About REHAB Hospital of the Pacific (REHAB)
For 65 years, REHAB Hospital of the Pacific has been dedicated to rebuilding lives. As the only comprehensive medical rehabilitation hospital in Hawaii, REHAB has been providing exemplary care to those with physical and cognitive disabilities, such as stroke and spinal cord injuries, empowering patients to reach optimal health and independence.

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