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Keywords:

  • fitness;
  • exercise;
  • cancer;
  • children;
  • oncology

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a 12-week exercise training program (comprising aerobic and strength exercises), and to study the feasibility and efficacy of this exercise program in children who survived acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Sample and methods: A 12-week exercise program was developed and tested for feasibility in nine children who survived cancer.

Results: From the 16 eligible children for the intervention, 9 participated, while 4 were able to complete the entire program. Feasibility of the program was scored by five children, two of them reported the program as being too demanding. The participating physiotherapists were satisfied with training methodology and training progress. The efficacy of the program on muscle strength, exercise capacity, functional mobility and fatigue showed no significant differences between pre and post training.

Conclusion: In designing a community-based exercise training program, not only the stage of the disease needs to be considered, but more so the age of the children, the variety of exercises, the location of implementation and even more importantly the views and motivation of the parents concerning the execution of an exercise training program. A careful balance between these parameters could lead to a greater adherence and by that, to a better outcome of these programs. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.