Neuropsychological, Physical Activity and Psychological Interventions for Pediatric Cancer Survivors: A Review and Synthesis

Janine Spitzhuettl, Claudia M. Roebers


Background: Pediatric cancer survivors are at risk for negative cognitive, social and psychological late sequelae. In response to that, recent research endeavoured alleviating late sequelae and improving quality of life for pediatric cancer survivors. This review`s aim was to systematically evaluate and critically appraise the current state of evidence on non-pharmacological intervention studies following childhood cancer. 

Methods: Randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental trials addressing children and adolescents after childhood cancer (age: 0-21 years), who reported either cognitive, psychosocial, psychological or health-related quality of life outcomes, were screened. Twenty non-pharmacological studies were identified, and studies were further categorized into one of the three groups:  Cognitive, physical activity and psychosocial/psychological interventions studies

Results: We critically discuss the methodological quality of these studies, and explore what outcomes can be tackled through what kind of intervention. 

Conclusions: Reviewing the existing studies and integrating the current empirical evidence, we conclude that for most aspects of children`s cognitive and social-emotional functioning more well-designed studies are needed.

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