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The Impact of Hematologic Cancer and Its Treatment on Physical Activity Level and Quality of Life Among Children in Mainland China

A Descriptive Study

Xia, Wei, MPhil, RN; Li, Ho Cheung William, PhD, RN; Lam, Ka Wai Katherine, PhD, RN; Chung, Oi Kwan Joyce, PhD, RN; Song, Peige, MSc, MD; Chiu, Sau Ying, MN, RN; Chan, Chi-Fung Godfrey, DMD, MD, MRCP, FHKAM, FHKCPaed, FRCP (Edin), FRCPCH, FAAP; Ho, Ka Yan, PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000661
Article: PDF Only

Background The effects of hematologic cancer and its treatment on Chinese children’s physical activity level and quality of life (QoL) remain unclear despite numerous studies conducted in Western countries and Hong Kong.

Objective The aim of this study was to examine the effects of hematologic cancer and its treatment on the physical activity level and QoL among Chinese children.

Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted. One hundred twenty-five children who were admitted for treatment of hematologic cancer and 243 healthy counterparts of similar age participated in this study. All participants were asked to complete the Chinese University of Hong Kong: Physical Activity Rating for Children and Youth and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. The children with hematologic cancer also completed a therapy-related symptom checklist.

Results There were statistically significant differences in the mean physical activity and QoL between children with hematologic cancer and their healthy counterparts. Multiple regression analyses showed that physical activity levels and the adverse effects of hematologic cancer treatment had statistically significant effects on the children’s QoL.

Conclusions Physical activity level and QoL in children with hematologic cancer were both lower than those in their healthy counterparts.

Implications for Practice This study provides further evidence that hematologic cancer and the adverse effects of its treatment have negative effects on Chinese children’s QoL. Although a lack of physical activity is deeply embedded in Chinese culture, nurses should take a proactive role in effecting change by educating parents about the benefits to their children’s physiologic and psychological well-being of physical activity during and after treatment.

Author Affiliations: School of Nursing, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong (Ms Xia and Drs Li, Ho, Lam, and Chung); Centre for Global Health Research, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (Ms Song); and Paediatric Oncology Unit (Ms Chiu) and Department of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (Dr Chan), Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: William H. C. Li, PhD, School of Nursing, The University of Hong Kong, 4/F, William M. W. Mong Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong (

Accepted for publication August 1, 2018.

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