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Keywords:

  • adolescents;
  • balance;
  • cancer;
  • children;
  • posture;
  • survivor

Abstract

This review aims to explore the literature investigating balance outcomes in survivors of childhood cancer. A structured search of five databases resulted in 16 articles included in this review. Nearly all were classified as Level 4 evidence using the updated Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Levels of Evidence. Balance abilities have been investigated solely in survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia or central nervous system tumours. The literature tends to support the idea that survivors present with balance difficulties but the results need to be closely scrutinised. Several studies report results using the same experimental group, while other studies use balance outcome measures that have not had their psychometric properties assessed with this population. There are also few studies that evaluate dynamic balance abilities in survivors of paediatric cancers, which may be more influential on functional tasks. Furthermore, very few of the included studies investigate how the found balance deficits affect this population's daily lives, which would be necessary in order to determine if intervention should be geared towards this area. Directions for future research should also include multi-centred, clinically oriented trials to evaluate balance abilities in survivors of childhood cancers compared with healthy control subjects in order to strengthen the literature.