Effect of physical activity on fatigue in childhood cancer survivors: a systematic review

Libby Moberg, Jordan Fritch, Danielle Westmark, Daniel Santa Mina, Crystal Krause, Laura Bilek, Melissa A Acquazzino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Many children, adolescents, and young adult survivors of childhood cancer experience fatigue following cancer treatment. Physical activity has been shown to be effective in improving cancer-related fatigue in adult survivors, but there is a lack of evidence on its effect in childhood cancer survivors. In addition, there are no guidelines for treatment of fatigue in childhood cancer survivors. The purpose of this study was to examine the existing literature on the effect of physical activity on fatigue in children, adolescents, and young adult survivors of childhood cancer. Methods: We conducted a systematic review to examine the effect of physical activity on fatigue in children, adolescents, and young adult survivors of childhood cancer. Results: Nine studies were included. Most of the studies included reported an increase in physical activity and a decline in fatigue in the target patient population. Interpretation of these findings is limited due to small sample sizes, inadequate length of follow-up, and variability among reviewed studies. Quantitative analysis was not conducted due to significant variability in both the type of physical activity implemented and in the measurement of fatigue. Conclusions: Further research, with a larger sample size and consistency in both physical activity interventions and measurement of fatigue, is needed to add greater precision and confidence in the effect of physical activity on fatigue in childhood cancer survivors. Results of this research will help guide future recommendations on physical activity for the treatment of cancer-related fatigue in children, adolescents, and young adult survivors of childhood cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Fatigue
  • Pediatric cancer
  • Physical activity
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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