Design and Evaluation of an Outdoor Exercise Program for Pediatric Cancer Survivors

Exercise programs for young people after cancer are not part of regular oncological care. This study describes and evaluates a regional outdoor exercise program and presents data with regard to the promoting and inhibiting factors for participation among pediatric cancer survivors. Exercise options, number of participants, and the cohort were evaluated descriptively for one year. A self-developed questionnaire was used to evaluate satisfaction, mood, motivations, and barriers to exercise. Overall N = 26 survivors (14.6 ± 5.5 years) participated in at least one activity in 2019 including try-out days (N = 10) and active weekend camps (N = 2). No adverse events occurred in 302 physical activity hours. Twenty-one survivors participated in the survey. The largest motivational aspect to participate was "to try out a new sport" (83.9%). Survivors reported "good mood", and 'being happy' after exercising. The largest barrier was concern about 'not being able to keep up with others' (38.1%). Around one-third (try-out day) and 50% (active weekend camp) of survivors did not feel confident to continue exercising outside the supervised exercise oncology program. This survey shows high enthusiasm for this exercise program with different outdoor activities and suggests that similar interventions may be accepted by this population.


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