There have been a number of small studies that have looked at physical activity immediately post diagnosis(1-7), during active treatment, and in late cancer survivors. These have shown a significant improvement in Quality of Life indicators in children (physical, emotional, social and school functioning). Supervised and structured hospital based programmes have shown improved perception in the child’s function and reported QoL (1-3).
Of note, San Juan and Speyer (8, 9) demonstrated that the biggest improvement was seen in children’s self-esteem. More high quality and larger studies would be of benefit to confirm this.
Quality of Evidence
Strength of Recommendation
From the early work that has been done, the evidence suggests that physical activity improves quality of life in paediatric patients. However more robust evidence is required in order to increase the strength of the recommendation.
- Gohar, S., Comito, M., Price, J. and Marchese, V. (2011). Feasibility and parent satisfaction of a physical therapy intervention program for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the first 6 months of medical treatment. Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 56(5), pp.799-804.
- Geyer, R., Lyons, A., Amazeen, L., Alishio, L. and Cooks, L. (2011). Feasibility Study. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 23(4), pp.375-379.
- Keats, M. and Culos-Reed, S. (2008). A Community-based Physical Activity Program for Adolescents With Cancer (Project TREK). Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 30(4), pp.272-280.
- Khodashenas, E., Badiee, Z., Sohrabi, M., Ghassemi, A. and Hosseinzade, V. (2017). The effect of an aerobic exercise program on the quality of life in children with cancer. The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics, 59(6), p.678.
- Marchese, V., Chiarello, L. and Lange, B. (2004). Effects of physical therapy intervention for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 42(2), pp.127-133.
- Müller, C., Krauth, K., Gerß, J. and Rosenbaum, D. (2016). Physical activity and health-related quality of life in pediatric cancer patients following a 4-week inpatient rehabilitation program. Supportive Care in Cancer, 24(9), pp.3793-3802.
- Rosenhagen, A., Bernhörster, M., Vogt, L., Weiss, B., Senn, A., Arndt, S., Siegler, K., Jung, M., Bader, P. and Banzer, W. (2011). Implementation of Structured Physical Activity in the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation. Klinische Pädiatrie, 223(03), pp.147-151.
- San Juan, A., Chamorro-Viña, C., Moral, S., Fernández del Valle, M., Madero, L., Ramírez, M., Pérez, M. and Lucia, A. (2008). Benefits of Intrahospital Exercise Training after Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 29(5), pp.439-446.
- Speyer, E., Herbinet, A., Vuillemin, A., Briançon, S. and Chastagner, P. (2010). Effect of adapted physical activity sessions in the hospital on health-related quality of life for children with cancer: A cross-over randomized trial. Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 55(6), pp.1160-1166.