The Effects of Physical Activity on Health and Quality of Life in Adolescent Cancer Survivors: A Systematic Review

  • Wurz A
  • Brunet J
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Abstract

BACKGROUND There are numerous published controlled trials assessing the safety and the benefits of physical activity (PA) for child and adult cancer survivors. However, trials exclusively comprised of adolescent cancer survivors aged 13-19 years, who may experience different health and quality of life (QOL) effects as a function of their developmental status, are lacking. Rather, some trials have included both adolescent and child cancer survivors together. OBJECTIVE The aim of this systematic review was to synthesize the findings from randomized controlled trails (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs) investigating the effects of PA on health and QOL outcomes in samples comprised of >50% adolescent cancer survivors to summarize the current state of evidence, identify knowledge gaps, and highlight areas in need of additional research within this population. METHODS Using a search strategy developed for this review, 10 electronic databases were searched for RCTs and CCTs that reported on the effects of PA on at least 1 health and/or QOL outcome in samples comprised of >50% adolescent cancer survivors. RESULTS From the 2249 articles identified, 2 CCTs met the predetermined eligibility criteria and were included in this review. Combined, 28 adolescents (of 41 participants) who were receiving active treatment participated in the 2 studies reviewed. A total of 4 health and QOL outcomes (ie, bone mass, fatigue, grip strength, QOL) were assessed pre- and post-PA intervention. CONCLUSIONS On the basis of the 2 studies reviewed, PA appears to be safe and feasible. PA also shows promise to mitigate reductions in bone mass and might be a viable strategy to improve fatigue, grip strength, and QOL. High-quality controlled trials with larger samples exclusively comprised of adolescent cancer survivors that assess a wide range of outcomes are needed to determine the effects of PA on health and QOL outcomes in this population.

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Wurz, A., & Brunet, J. (2016). The Effects of Physical Activity on Health and Quality of Life in Adolescent Cancer Survivors: A Systematic Review. JMIR Cancer, 2(1), e6. https://doi.org/10.2196/cancer.5431

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