Limitations on Physical Activity in Childhood Cancer Survivors and Intervention Programs: A Review of Literature


  • Despoina Amourgi MSc Program “Strategies of Developmental and Adolescent Health”, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • Maria Gerontari MSc Program “Strategies of Developmental and Adolescent Health”, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece


Childhood Cancer Survivors (CCSs), Psychosocial Barriers, Physiological Barriers, Public Health, Physical Activity


Purpose: Pediatric cancer survivors have been increased through the last decades, while scientists conduct studies in order to discover new treatments and ameliorate survivors’ quality of life. Physical activity consists an important factor with multiple benefits for the overall health of Childhood Cancer Survivors (CCSs). However, CCSs are not following the suggested guidelines and they are defined by low physical performance. The aim of this review was to highlight the reasons survivors neglect exercise and how intervention programs benefit them.

Methods: Search was conducted for studies published between 2002 to 2021 in four databases (PubMed, Goggle Scholar, Cochrane Library and Research Gate). All studies were in English language. All articles were either descriptive or intervention research and provided results according to survivors’ physical activity and specifically related to the barriers, preferences and benefits.

Results: Results showed that survivors face mostly physical and psychological barriers that discourage them from exercise. Intervention programs showed significant improvement in several aspects of CCSs’ physical and mental health and social life. While some survivors are not particularly active, they reported willingness to improve not only the level of physical performance but also several unhealthy habits.

Conclusion: Appropriate guidance and specialized framing by professionals are crucial not only for CCSs but also their families. Further research is necessary in order to reassess and ameliorate beneficial policies and promote Public Health for CCSs.




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