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Association Between Posture and Quality of Life: Implications for Children with Cancer
  • Jennifer Raybin,
  • Verna Hendricks-Ferguson,
  • Teri Hernandez
Jennifer Raybin
Children's Hospital Colorado

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Verna Hendricks-Ferguson
Saint Louis University School of Nursing
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Teri Hernandez
University of Colorado - Anschutz Medical Campus
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Background: Children with cancer experience decreased quality of life. The National Institutes of Health has recommended examination of quality of life factors to promote development of clinical interventions to reduce suffering. Measuring quality of life in children based on self-report instruments is limited by subjectivity, age, and developmental stage. Assessment of posture is a pioneering objective physical measure that may augment quality of life preceptions among individuals with cancer. Procedure: This systematic literature review synthesized published evidence regarding the relationship between posture and quality of life. A systematic search using PRISMA guidelines identified articles describing studies of human subjects that included the variables of a) posture measured by the standard thoracic kyphosis angle; and b) quality of life or depression/mood. A total of 14 eligible studies met inclusion criteria (published 2000-2018). Studies were graded for level of evidence and themes were identified. Results: No studies were found in children with cancer. The majority of the studies (8 of 14) were rated at the moderate level. Key review findings include evidence supporting: 1) a consistent bidirectional relationship between posture and quality of life; 2) that when posture improves, quality of life also increases; and when depression decreases, posture improves; and 3) emotion is expressed through posture. Conclusion: If posture is a sensitive and precise measure of quality of life, it could strengthen existing measurements and give a more complete picture to in turn identify children who may benefit from supportive care interventions during cancer treatment.