Distance-delivered physical activity interventions for childhood cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis

David Mizrahi*, Claire E. Wakefield, Joanna E. Fardell, Veronica F. Quinn, Qishan Lim, Briana K. Clifford, David Simar, Kirsten K. Ness, Richard J. Cohn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This review aimed to determine the feasibility of distance-delivered physical activity (PA) interventions in childhood cancer survivors (CCS), and assess the effect on PA levels, and physical, physiological and psychological outcomes. We searched electronic databases until May 2016, including studies following intensive treatment. Meta-analyses were conducted on randomized controlled trials. We calculated the effect of interventions on PA levels and physical, physiological and psychological health outcomes. Thirteen studies (n = 270 participants) were included in the systematic review and four (n = 102 participants) in the meta-analysis. Most studies used telephone to deliver interventions with contact (1/day-1/month), duration (2 weeks–1 year) and timing (maintenance therapy->20 years following intensive treatment) varying between interventions. Interventions yielded a mean recruitment rate = 64%, retention rate = 85% and adherence rate = 88%. Interventions did not increase PA levels (p = 0.092), but had a positive effect on physical function (p = 0.008) and psychological outcomes (p = 0.006). Distance-delivered PA interventions are feasible in CCS. Despite not increasing PA levels, participation may improve physical and psychological health; however, larger randomized controlled trials are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • childhood cancer survivor
  • physical activity
  • exercise
  • distance-delivery intervention


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