Physical Therapist Coaching to Improve Physical Activity in Children with Brain Tumors: A Pilot Study

Jessica A. Ovans, Mary C. Hooke, Anne E. Bendel, Lynn R. Tanner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Children with brain tumors (BTs) experience fatigue and decreased quality of life (QOL). Physical activity (PA) is recommended during and after cancer treatment. We explored whether a fitness tracker intervention combined with tailored coaching by a physical therapist (PT) increased PA and QOL and decreased fatigue in children with BTs. Methods: Participants were 7 to 18 years' old, within 2 years of diagnosis, and received a 12-week PA intervention using a fitness tracker combined with 5 PT coaching sessions. Steps/day measured by Fitbit and self-reports of QOL, fatigue, and PA were evaluated at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. Results: Participants had nonsignificant increase in steps/day. Total fatigue, general, and sleep/rest subscales improved while cognitive fatigue and QOL remained unchanged. Higher steps/day were associated with lower fatigue. Conclusion: This is a feasible intervention that may contribute to an increase in PA and improve fatigue in children with BTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-317
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Physical Therapy
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Keywords

  • brain tumors
  • children
  • fatigue
  • fitness tracker
  • physical activity
  • physical therapy
  • quality of life

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