Relationships among fatigue, physical activity, depressive symptoms, and quality of life in Chinese children and adolescents surviving cancer

Ka Yan Ho, William H.C. Li, Ka Wai Katherine Lam, Xia Wei, S. Y. Chiu, Chi Fung Godfrey Chan, Oi Kwan Joyce Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Fatigue is the most common concern reported by childhood cancer survivors. Assessing its occurrence and severity is a prerequisite for planning and evaluating appropriate interventions. Nevertheless, there is a lack of large-scale surveys which examine the occurrence and severity of fatigue and its associated factors. The study aimed to shed light on this under researched area. Methods: A cross-sectional study was used. A total of 400 childhood cancer survivors (7- to 18-year olds) were invited to participate in the study. The cancer-related fatigue, depressive symptoms, physical activity level, and quality of life of participants were assessed. Results: An average of 46.4% of children and 48.4% of adolescents were found to display symptoms of cancer-related fatigue between “half the time” and “all the time” over the previous seven days. Besides, greater occurrence and severity of fatigue in childhood cancer survivors were associated with more self-reported depressive symptoms, lower level of physical activity and quality of life. In addition, the study revealed that physical activity level is a significant factor associated with cancer-related fatigue. Conclusion: The findings provide further support that cancer and its treatment have adverse effects on survivors’ fatigue, which can manifest months or even years after the completion of treatment. Importantly, this study reveals that physical activity is a significant factor associated with fatigue in children and adolescents. It is crucial for healthcare professionals to identify strategies that can help children and adolescents surviving cancer increase their adoption and maintenance of regular activity throughout their life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood cancer survivors
  • Fatigue
  • Occurrence
  • Physical activity
  • Quality of life
  • Severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

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