Effects of a combined physical and psychosocial intervention program for childhood cancer patients on quality of life and psychosocial functioning: results of the QLIM randomized clinical trial

Elisabeth M van Dijk-Lokkart, Katja I Braam, Eline van Dulmen-den Broeder, Gertjan J L Kaspers, Tim Takken, Martha A Grootenhuis, Isabelle C Streng, Marc Bierings, Johannes H Merks, Marry M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Margreet A Veening, Jaap Huisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Although survival rates in childhood cancer have improved, prevention and reduction of late effects remain important. This study evaluates the effects of a combined physical exercise and psychosocial intervention on health-related quality of life (HrQoL) and psychosocial functioning in childhood cancer patients.

METHODS: In this multicenter randomized controlled trial, cancer patients (aged 8-18 years) and their parents filled in questionnaires on HrQoL, depressive symptoms, behavioral problems, and self-esteem. Measurements were conducted at baseline, shortly after the 12-week intervention period and 12 months after baseline. Generalized estimating equations analyses were performed to assess short-term and long-term psychosocial effects.

RESULTS: Of the 174 eligible patients, 68 (39.1%) participated. The intervention group consisted of 30 participants at baseline [mean age 13.0 (SD 3.0) years; 53% male], 26 at short-term and 22 at long-term follow-up. The 'care as usual' control group consisted of 38 participants at baseline [mean age 12.6 (SD 3.1) years; 53% male], 33 at short-term and 31 at long-term follow-up. Overall, the intervention did not improve psychosocial functioning and HrQoL. According to parent-proxy reports, the intervention leads to a greater improvement on pain-related HrQoL on both the short (β = 13.4; 95% CI: 3.0; 23.8) and long term (β = 13.0; 95% CI: 1.6; 24.4) and to greater improvement on procedural anxiety immediately after the intervention (β = 12.6; 95% CI: 1.9; 23.3).

CONCLUSION: A combined physical and psychosocial training for children with cancer did not have effects on HrQoL or psychosocial functioning, with exception of modest positive effects on parent-reported pain and procedural anxiety Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-22
Number of pages8
JournalPsycho-oncology
Volume25
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety/prevention & control
  • Behavior Therapy/methods
  • Child
  • Counseling/methods
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms/psychology
  • Parents/psychology
  • Quality of Life/psychology
  • Survivors/psychology

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