Preventive (or "preventative") interventions lessen the effect of expected disabilities and emphasize patient education. Preventive measures also include approaches to improving the patient's physical functioning and general health status. In addition, psychological counseling before treatment can assist with the early identification of adjustment issues to allow for prompt intervention.
Restorative interventions are procedures that attempt to return patients to previous levels of physical, psychological, social, and vocational functioning. Postoperative ROM exercises for patients undergoing mastectomy and reconstructive surgery for head and neck cancer represent this category of interventions.
Supportive rehabilitation is designed to teach patients to accommodate their disabilities and to minimize debilitating changes from ongoing disease. Supportive efforts include teaching patients how to use prosthetic devices after amputation, as well as instructing the patient on use of other devices and procedures that assist in self-management, self-care abilities, and independent functioning. Other supportive efforts include provision of emotional support associated with adjustment issues while the patient is learning to cope with physical lifestyle changes.
During the palliative phase, when increasing disability and advanced disease process may be present, interventions and goals focus on minimizing or eliminating complications and providing comfort and support. Palliative goals include pain control, prevention of contractures and pressure sores, prevention of unnecessary deterioration from inactivity, and psychological support for the patient and family members.