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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Physical determinants of physical activity in children who have completed treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia Hung, Stanley Hughwa


INTRODUCTION: Physical activity (PA) levels in children who have completed treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have been shown to be lower than their healthy peers. Obesity and related health concerns have been recognized as long-term side-effect of cancer treatment. Motor performance and physical function have been shown to be lower in these children compared with children who have not had a cancer diagnosis. Whether or not these two physical factors are related to PA levels in these children is unknown. PURPOSE: To determine if motor performance and physical function are associated with PA in children who have completed treatment for ALL. METHODS: PA was measured using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C); motor performance was measured using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition, Short Form (BOT-2 SF); and physical function was measured using the Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT). RESULTS: Thirteen participants were recruited. PAQ-C scores were not related to standardized scores from the BOT-2 SF (Spearman’s rho, rs = 0.282, p = 0.35) and 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) (rs = -0.429, p = 0.14) and 6MWD Standard Deviation Score (SDS) (rs = -0.094, p = 0.76). Only 1/13 participants performed below average in the BOT-2 SF, and 11/13 participants walked shorter distances compared with published data from healthy children in the 6MWT (mean 6MWD SDS: -1.62). Body mass index SDS were significantly associated with measured 6MWD (rs = 0.602, p = 0.03) and 6MWD SDS (rs = -0.691 p = 0.01). CONCLUSION: PA was not associated with motor performance or physical function. Physical function was poorer compared with healthy children in 11/13 participants. Healthcare professionals can focus on improving physical function and improving weight management to help reduce risk of obesity and associated health consequences in children who have completed treatment for ALL. Future research should include a larger sample size and include psychosocial factors, such as self-efficacy and parental influence, in exploring factors related to PA childhood ALL survivors.

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