Fatigue and poor sleep are two of the most common and most distressing symptoms for adolescents with cancer. These 2 symptoms concurrently heighten distress, further decreasing quality of life (QoL).
The aims of this study were to describe the degree of exercise involvement, fatigue, sleep quality, and QoL among adolescents with cancer and to determine whether exercise mediates the relationships between (a) fatigue and QoL and (b) sleep quality and QoL.
A cross-sectional study of 100 participants was conducted. Multiple regression was performed to examine the mediation relationship.
Participants in the off-treatment group had a significantly higher degree of exercise involvement, as well as less fatigue, greater sleep quality, and less QoL distress. Exercise partially mediated the adverse effect of fatigue on QoL for adolescents undergoing cancer treatment, accounting for 49.80% of the total variation; exercise partially mediated the adverse effect of poor sleep on QoL for adolescents both in treatment and in survivorship, accounting for 42.06% and 28.71% of the total variations, respectively.
Exercise partially mediated the relationship between fatigue and QoL for adolescents in cancer treatment and partially mediated the relationship between sleep quality and QoL both for those in cancer treatment and for those in survivorship.
Implications for Practice
Developing tailored exercise programs based on both treatment status and the degree of fatigue and sleep quality is important. In-service education that enhances nurses’ awareness of the importance of exercise in improving adolescents’ QoL is recommended.