Improving body function and minimizing activity limitations in pediatric leukemia survivors: The lasting impact of the Stoplight Program

Lynn R. Tanner, Casey Hooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: After acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment, children can have persistent muscle weakness, range of motion limitations, and decreased function after treatment. The Stoplight Program (SLP), a proactive physical therapy intervention, was administered as the standard of care during ALL treatment to prevent and minimize these impairments. The purpose of this follow-up study was to measure body function and activity limitations in ALL survivors who completed the SLP and compare them to a pre-SLP control group, thus evaluating the longer term impact of the SLP. Procedure: Two cohorts of survivors of pediatric ALL ages 5 to 18 years were assessed 18 to 24 months after completing ALL treatment. Measurements included both the body coordination subtest and the strength and agility subtest of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, active dorsiflexion range of motion (ADROM), and physical activity by self-report. Results: The control group and SLP group did not differ in size (n = 15), mean age (9 years), or time off ALL treatment (20 months). The SLP group had better scale scores for bilateral coordination (P = 0.05), running speed/agility (P < 0.01), and strength (P = 0.01). The number of survivors with 5 degrees or greater of ADROM (right) was significantly greater in the SLP group. ADROM had a positive correlation with strength/agility standard score in the combined survivor group. Conclusion: The SLP is a proactive physical therapy intervention that continues to positively impact children after treatment. Referral to physical therapy should be the standard to optimize long-term function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27596
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Volume66
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research study was funded by the Pine Tree Apple Tennis Classic Foundation.

Funding Information:
This research study was funded by the Pine Tree Apple Tennis Classic

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Copyright:
Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • motor function
  • physical performance
  • physical therapy
  • prospective surveillance model
  • rehabilitation

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