Rehabilitation in Palliative Care

Rehabilitation in palliative care is an important route to enable patients to preserve personhood, fulfil meaningful goals, maintain autonomy and dignity whilst at the same time supporting them to adapt constructively to uncertainty and loss that is often intrinsic in the lived experience of advancing illness. In its simplest sense, rehabilitation in palliative care is about enabling people to live fully until they die.

Rehabilitation in palliative care comprises both the specialist contribution of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and speech and language therapists, together with ‘Rehabilitative Palliative Care’ where rehabilitation is an integral part of interdisciplinary palliative care. Rehabilitative Palliative Care calls for all members of the interdisciplinary team to adopt and actively embed rehabilitative practices and an enabling culture within their palliative care practice to support people living with advanced illness to participate to as full extent as possible in valued activities within their daily lives (Tiberini and Richardson 2015).

There is an increasingly robust body of evidence to support the effectiveness of rehabilitation for people living with advanced, incurable illness and the integration of rehabilitation and palliative care by the interprofessional team is recommended as best practice by the World Health Organisation to improve the quality, accessibility, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health services for people approaching end of life (WHO 2023).

From this perspective it is no longer a question of if rehabilitation should be integrated with palliative care, but rather how to best achieve this. In practice however, Rehabilitative Palliative Care is not well understood and service provision, both across Europe and internationally, remains under-resourced and highly variable.

The Task Force is chaired by Rebecca Tiberini, Physiotherapist and Independent Consultant and Coach in Palliative Care, Switzerland and Julie Brose, Occupational Therapist and Senior Research Associate, UK.

Taskforce Aims:

• Increase awareness and understanding of a rehabilitative palliative care approach: where rehabilitation is an integral part of interdisciplinary palliative care, including dissemination of the evidence base.
• Identify and address barriers and facilitators to the integration and adoption of rehabilitative palliative care in practice.

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Taskforce Members

1 Rebecca Tiberini

Rebecca Tiberini



Independent Consultant and Coach in Palliative Care - Physiotherapist
2 Julie Brose

Julie Brose

United Kingdom


Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol, Bristol - Occupational Therapist
3 Jo Bayly

Jo Bayly

United Kingdom
Research Fellow, Scientific Project Manager INSPIRE - Physiotherapist
4 Sally Boa

Sally Boa

United Kingdom
Head of Research, Education and Practice Development, Strathcarron Hospice - Speech and Language Therapist

Marysia de Carlo

Associate Professor Occupational Therapy, Department of Health Sciences, University of Sao Paolo - Occupational Therapist

Chris de Jongh

FYSIOOOO/A.Schweitzer hospital Dordrecht - Physiotherapist
7 Charlie Hall

Charlie Hall

United Kingdom
Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland - Doctor

Susanne Jarkovsky

Academic Staff (Research and Lecturer) at University of Applied Sciences Vienna, Leader of Austrian - Speech and Language Therapist
9 Karen la Cour

Karen la Cour

Professor, Head of Occupational Science Research, Research unit for User Involvement and Community-Based Interventions, Department of Public Health - Occupational Therapist
10 Barry Laird

Barry Laird

United Kingdom
Professor of Palliative Care, University of Edinburgh, Scotland - Doctor
11 Camilla Lykke

Camilla Lykke

Postdoc Researcher Palliative Medicine, Department of Oncology, Copenhagen University Hospital - Nurse
12 Andrea Magrelli

Andrea Magrelli

Specialist Palliative Care Physiotherapist ANTEA, Rome - Physiotherapist
13 Leonor Marques

Leonor Marques

Specialist Palliative Care Physiotherapist, Lisbon - Physiotherapist

Deidre Morgan

Academic Lead, Senior Lecturer, Palliative and End-of-Life Care, Flinders University, Australia - Occupational Therapist
15 Lise Nottlemann

Lise Nottlemann

MD, postdoc researcher, specialist registrar in Public Health Medicine - Doctor
16 Annelli Ozanne

Annelli Ozanne

Associate professor, senior lecturer, registered nurse/ University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sweden - Nurse
17 Caroline Quilty

Caroline Quilty

United Kingdom
Specialist Palliative Care Dietitian, Royal Trinity Hospice, London - Dietitian
18 Gabriela Rezendes

Gabriela Rezendes

Professor Occupational Therapy, Department of Health Sciences, University of Sao Paolo - Occupational Therapist

Rainer Simader

Head of Education, Hospice Austria - Physiotherapist
20 Marc Sampedro Pilegaard

Marc Sampedro Pilegaard

OT, PhD and Senior Researcher, DEFACTUM, Central Denmark Region, Aarhus, Denmark and Department of Clinical Social Medicine and Rehabilitation - Occupational Therapist
21 Helena Talbot-Rice

Helena Talbot-Rice

United Kingdom
Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Consultant Lead, St Christopher's Hospice, London - Physiotherapist
22 Jette Theusen

Jette Theusen

Associate Professor, Danish Knowledge Centre for Rehabilitation in Palliative Care, Denmark - Occupational Therapist
photo Joanne Brennan

Joanne Brennan

EAPC Project Officer - Physiotherapist
photo Cathy Payne

Cathy Payne

Northern Ireland
EAPC Research and Project Manager - Dietitian