Implementing Sustainable Physical Activity Opportunities in Pediatric Oncology –: Five-Year Experience of a Group-Based Exercise Program

Julia Däggelmann*, Aram Prokop, Vivien Lösse, Sarah Otten, Volker Maas, Wilhelm Bloch, Vanessa Oschwald

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Problem: Due to physical performance limitations and inactiv-ity after pediatric oncological treatment there is a strong need for childhood cancer-specific exercise opportunities. However, only few sustainable programs have been described in the liter-ature. This article aims to provide an example of implementing an exercise opportunity in pediatric oncology.
Methods: Five-year data (May 2012 to May 2017) have been analyzed on adverse events, attendance rates and barriers to attendance of a group-based exercise program designed for childhood cancer patients after inpatient medical treatment. The exercise sessions included endurance, strength, coordination exercises, as well as relaxation and cooperative games and were offered once a week for 45-60 minutes. In addition, aspects of reintegration into non-cancer-specific PA were explored.
Results: Over 5 years, 32 patients and 14 healthy siblings/friends between 3 and 18 years of age were included. Most patients joined the program for 6-18 months with an average attendance rate of the exercise sessions of 60.28 ± 12.62%. Main reasons for non-attendance of single exercise sessions were medical issues and holidays. No severe adverse events occurred. At program completion, most patients participated in physical education at school/kindergarten and engaged in leisure-time PA.
Discussion: While key aspects for the establishment of sustainable exercise opportunities are highlighted, reintegration into non-cancer-specific PA must be improved and home-based alternatives could be a beneficial complement to the program.
Translated title of the contributionImplementierung eines dauerhaften gruppenbasierten Bewegungsangebotes für krebskranke Kinder und Jugendliche – : Erfahrungen aus 5 Jahren
Original languageEnglish
JournalDeutsche Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
Publication statusElectronically/ online published ahead of print - 09.2021

Research areas and keywords

  • Childhood
  • Children
  • Cancer
  • Sports
  • Physical Performance


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