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Computer-Based Exercise Program: Effects of a 12-Week Intervention on Mood and Fatigue in Pediatric Patients With Cancer

Anna-Maria Platschek
Laura Kehe
Vera Abeln
Frank Berthold
Thorsten Simon
Heiko Klaus Strüder
CJON 2017, 21(6), E280-E286 DOI: 10.1188/17.CJON.E280-E286

Background: Increasing rates of survival present a new set of physical and psychological challenges for children dealing with side effects during cancer treatment. Physical activity has been shown to be an effective strategy to reduce several side effects.

Objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the benefits of a 12-week computer-based exercise intervention on perceived physical, motivational, and fatigue syndrome and psychological state.

Methods: Nine inpatient and outpatient pediatric patients with cancer participated in a 12-week intervention consisting of supervised computer-based exercise sessions. Participants completed measures assessing mood and fatigue pre- and postintervention.

Findings: The intervention was feasible and provided preliminary evidence for the benefits on mood and fatigue in pediatric patients with cancer. The results promote the effectiveness of physical activity in pediatric oncology and call for continuing research in pediatric patients with cancer where sedentary behavior and the associated side effects are a growing concern.

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