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Acta Paulista de Enfermagem

versão impressa ISSN 0103-2100versão On-line ISSN 1982-0194


XAVIER, Welker da Silva et al. Nonpharmacological interventions in the improvement of quality of life in children and adolescent cancer patients. Acta paul. enferm. [online]. 2020, vol.33, e-APE-20190022.  Epub 23-Mar-2020. ISSN 1982-0194.


To identify, in both the Brazilian and international literature, studies about the efficacy of nonpharmacological interventions oriented toward improving quality of life in children and adolescents with cancer.


Integrative review whose search process was carried out in September and October 2018 in the following databases: PsycINFO, Web of Science, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Latin America and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information, Índice Bibliográfico Español de Ciencias de la Salud, Banco de Dados em Enfermagem, and MEDLINE®. The guiding question was “What are the nonpharmacological interventions available in the literature used to improve quality of life in children and adolescents with cancer?”. Original articles published between 2013 and 2018 in English, Portuguese, or Spanish were included. Studies that focused on other subjects or adult population and review articles, dissertations, and theses were excluded.


The sample was 22 articles, which were grouped, according to their similarities, into three categories. The described interventions consisted of: exclusive physical activity (6); physical activity combined with another intervention (8); and psychological interventions (8). Among these interventions, 13 showed significant differences in the improvement of quality of life.


The nonpharmacological interventions that applied physical exercise or were combined with another intervention were the most effective. The present review helps raising awareness of professionals of the importance of the subject and provides resources to plan strategical actions, in the context of pediatric nursing, that include nonpharmacological interventions, together with the standard treatment, to improve quality of life in children and adolescents with cancer. The results must be evaluated with caution, given that a variety of interventions, protocols, and number of participants was identified in the sample, which hinders the generalization of the findings.

Palavras-chave : Child; Adolescente; Neoplasms; Quality of life; Pediatric nursing.

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