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A Randomized Controlled Trial of Individualized Yoga to Reduce Fatigue in Hospitalized Children Receiving Intensive Chemotherapy
(Investigators: Lillian Sung, Tal Schechter, Caroline Diorio, George Tomlinson)

Fatigue is a major problem in children and adolescents receiving intensive chemotherapy for cancer and in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients; however, evidence demonstrating effective interventions for fatigue in children with cancer is scarce and there are no standard approaches for preventing or treating fatigue in this population.  Exercise is an effective intervention for cancer-related fatigue in patients of all ages; however, patients receiving the most intensive treatments may be too ill to participate in a standardized exercise program.  A unique and potentially effective intervention that combines exercise and relaxation is yoga. 

Yoga is an ideal intervention for pediatric patients receiving the most intensive chemotherapy because in these patients the ability to participate in physical activity varies considerably dependent on timing relative to chemotherapy initiation.  Yoga allows the tailoring of an exercise program which is individually suited to that patient at that time point.  Other advantages of yoga are the ability to deliver the program in any location without the need for specialized equipment and the ability to allow a family member to participate with the child. 

This is a multi-centre, parallel-group, superiority and explanatory RCT of individualized yoga for fatigue in children between 8 and 18 years of age who are inpatients receiving intensive chemotherapy.  The primary objective of the study is to determine if a 3-week program of individualized yoga, when compared to an iPad activity control group, is associated with lower levels of reported fatigue, greater overall quality of life, and less systematic opioid use.