Effects of Cognitive Training and Exergaming in Pediatric Cancer Survivors–A Randomized Clinical Trial

Benzing, Valentin; Spitzhüttl, Janine; Siegwart, Valerie; Schmid, Jürg; Grotzer, Michael; Heinks, Theda; Roebers, Claudia M.; Steinlin, Maja; Leibundgut, Kurt; Schmidt, Mirko; Everts, Regula (2020). Effects of Cognitive Training and Exergaming in Pediatric Cancer Survivors–A Randomized Clinical Trial. Medicine & science in sports & exercise, 52(11), pp. 2293-2302. American College of Sports Medicine 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002386

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Abstract

Purpose

Although most pediatric cancer patients survive, those who undergo anti-cancer treatments like chemo- and/or radiotherapy are at a high risk for late effects, such as cognitive deficits. To counteract these deficits, feasible and effective interventions are needed. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of working memory training, exergaming, and a wait-list control condition on cognitive functions in pediatric cancer survivors.

Methods

In a parallel-group randomized trial, 69 pediatric cancer survivors aged 7–16 years (mean = 11.35; SD = 3.53) were randomly assigned either to 8-week working memory training, exergaming, or a wait-list control group. Each training course consisted of three 45-min training sessions per week. The primary outcome comprised the core executive functions (visual working memory, inhibition, switching), and the secondary outcomes included other cognitive domains (intelligence, planning, memory, attention, processing speed), motor abilities and parent rating on their children´s executive functions. Assessments were conducted both before and immediately after the interventions, and at 3-month follow-up.

Results

Linear mixed models revealed that participants in the working memory training group showed a linear improvement in visual working memory after training and at follow-up compared to the control group. No other intervention effects of either type of training could be detected.

Conclusion

This study presents evidence that working memory training improves visual working memory in pediatric cancer survivors. Results show that near transfer, but no far transfer effects can be expected from working memory training. Multiple-component interventions tailored to fit the individual’s cognitive profile are needed to best support cognitive development after cancer and its treatment.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine > Paediatric Haematology/Oncology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine > Neuropaediatrics
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Pedagogy

UniBE Contributor:

Benzing, Valentin Johannes; Spitzhüttl, Janine Sophie; Siegwart, Valerie; Schmid, Jürg; Heinks Maldonado, Theda; Roebers, Claudia; Steinlin, Maja; Leibundgut, Kurt; Schmidt, Mirko and Everts, Regula

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1530-0315

Publisher:

American College of Sports Medicine

Funders:

[UNSPECIFIED] Fondation Gaydoul
Organisations 0 not found.
Organisations 0 not found.
[UNSPECIFIED] Dietmar Hopp Stiftung
[UNSPECIFIED] Hans und Annelies Swierstra Stiftung

Language:

English

Submitter:

Valentin Johannes Benzing

Date Deposited:

02 Sep 2020 14:20

Last Modified:

11 Oct 2020 01:33

Publisher DOI:

10.1249/MSS.0000000000002386

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146105

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146105

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