Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

School of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences


Exercise Science

Major Advisor

Dr. Beth Ennis

Second Advisor

Dr. Catelin Infante Kass


There is limited published research regarding the use of physical activity in cancer treatment programs, and even fewer in pediatric treatment plans; however, there is a common consensus that following the conclusion of cancer treatment an individual’s physical fitness has been majorly impacted. The inactivity that commonly coexists with cancer treatment often results in extended periods of time in rehabilitation programs and decreased independence. Along with the physical detriments caused by inactivity, increased dependence on others often brings about feelings of helplessness that can further cause emotional detriments. It has however been demonstrated in previous research that adding physical activity programs into cancer treatment plans, especially those emphasizing maintenance of preexisting fitness levels can decrease the detriments seen in inactive patients. In interviews with physical therapists working in a pediatric stem cell transplant ward, the importance of including a physical activity treatment program was emphasized due to its ability to assist in the maintenance of previous levels of physical fitness. Despite the scarcity of research, there are trends to promote the implementation of physical activity into oncological treatment plans. Further research is needed to clarify which types of activity plans are the most conducive to bringing health related benefits into the various treatment plans for each population group and cancer type. Future Research can also delve into whether physical activity programs have an effect on the emotional and mental state of pediatric oncology patients.

Included in

Oncology Commons