Physical activity for pediatric cancer survivors: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Ankie Tan Cheung, William Ho Cheung Li, Laurie Long Kwan Ho, Ka Yan Ho, Godfrey Chi Fung Chan, Joyce Oi Kwan Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To collate evidence and evaluate the effects of physical activity interventions on physical activity level among pediatric cancer survivors who had completed active cancer treatment. Methods: Relevant published studies were identified in May 2020 via five databases and reference checking. Searches were limited to randomized controlled trials or controlled clinical trials, published in English involving pediatric cancer survivors aged 18 years or below. Interventions were related to promote physical activity among the survivors. Included studies were assessed using the revised version of the Cochrane’s Risk of Bias Tool. Results: Eight randomized controlled trials (620 pediatric cancer survivors and 53 caregivers of pediatric cancer survivors) were included. All studies investigated interventions for pediatric cancer survivors to increase their physical activity level. The interventions used varied across the eight included studies: three mHealth—medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices; two eHealth—the use of information and communication technologies to improve health care; two adventure-based training; and one educational program. Measures of physical activity level also varied: five used various objective measurements (i.e., accelerometer, pedometer, multisensory activity monitor); three used different self-reported questionnaires. Owing to high variability of the interventions and measures, it was impossible to perform meta-analysis. Overall, eHealth and mHealth interventions showed effectiveness and feasibility to promote physical activity among pediatric cancer survivors. Conclusions: eHealth and mHealth interventions appear to be increasingly important strategies to promote physical activity among pediatric cancer survivors. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Future larger-scale studies using a core-set of assessment tools are warranted to further promote regular physical activity in pediatric cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-889
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Intervention strategies
  • Pediatric cancer survivors
  • Pediatric oncology
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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