The impact of cancer and its treatment on physical activity levels and quality of life among young Hong Kong Chinese cancer patients

Katherine K.W. Lam, William H.C. Li, S. Y. Chiu, Godfrey C.F. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Despite the evidence that regular physical activity can have beneficial effects on the physical and psychological well-being of cancer patients, a review of the literature reveals that a majority of young cancer patients fail to attain the same levels of physical activity that they had before contracting the disease. This study is to examine the impact of cancer and its treatment on the physical activity levels and quality of life of young Hong Kong Chinese cancer patients. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted, with 76 young cancer patients admitted for treatment to a pediatric oncology unit, and another similar age group of 148 healthy counterparts from the two integrated child and youth service centers were invited to join the study. Results: The study found that the current physical activity levels of young cancer patients were markedly reduced when compared with their pre-cancer situation. Moreover, they were significantly less active in performing physical exercise, and reported lower levels of self-efficacy and quality of life than their healthy counterparts. The results of the hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that physical activity is an important indicator of quality of life among young cancer patients. Conclusion: The results provide further evidence that cancer and its treatment have negative effects on physical and psychological well-being and quality of life among young cancer patients. There is an imperative need for healthcare professionals to promote the adoption of regular physical activity among such patients, even during the treatment itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Physical activity
  • Psychological well-being
  • Quality of life
  • Self-efficacy
  • Young cancer patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

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