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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000053
Research Article

Feasibility and Initial Effectiveness of Home Exercise During Maintenance Therapy for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Esbenshade, Adam J. MD, MSCI; Friedman, Debra L. MD, MS; Smith, Webb A. MS; Jeha, Sima MD; Pui, Ching-Hon MD; Robison, Leslie L. PhD; Ness, Kirsten K. PT, PhD

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Abstract

Purpose:

Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are at increased risk of obesity and deconditioning from cancer therapy. This pilot study assessed feasibility/initial efficacy of an exercise intervention for patients with ALL undergoing maintenance therapy.

Methods:

Participants were aged 5 to 10 years, receiving maintenance therapy, in first remission. A 6-month home-based intervention, with written and video instruction, was supervised with weekly calls from an exercise coach. Pre- and poststudy testing addressed strength, flexibility, fitness, and motor function.

Results:

Seventeen patients enrolled (participation 63%). Twelve (71%) finished the intervention, completing 81.7 ± 7.2% of prescribed sessions. Improvements of 5% or more occurred in 67% for knee and 75% for grip strength, 58% for hamstring/low-back and 83% for ankle flexibility, 75% for the 6-Minute Walk Test, and 33% for performance on the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency Version 2.

Conclusions:

This pilot study demonstrated that exercise intervention during ALL therapy is feasible and has promise for efficacy.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association

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