Parental involvement in exercise and diet interventions for childhood cancer survivors: a systematic review

Pediatr Res. 2016 Sep;80(3):338-46. doi: 10.1038/pr.2016.84. Epub 2016 Apr 11.


Childhood cancer survivors (CCS) are at risk of becoming overweight or obese due to treatment effects and/or post-treatment behaviors. Parents are key agents influencing child diet and physical activity (PA), which are modifiable risk factors for obesity. A systematic literature review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines was undertaken to evaluate current interventions that include diet and PA elements for CCS to determine if and to what extent parents were included, and whether parent involvement had a significant effect on behavioral outcomes or adiposity. A total of 2,386 potential articles were reviewed and 25 individual studies fulfilled inclusion criteria. Parental involvement was classified into three categories and varied across studies, although most had indirect or no parental involvement. The studies that included direct parental involvement showed positive outcomes on a variety of measures suggesting that increasing parental involvement in interventions for CCS may be one way to promote long-term lifestyle changes for pediatric cancer patients. However, additional research directly addressing parental involvement in obesity prevention and treatment among CCS is warranted.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diet*
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / prevention & control
  • Parenting*
  • Parents
  • Pediatric Obesity / complications
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Survivors*