Physical Activity Experience of Children Post Liver Transplant: Developing a Foundation for Rehabilitation Interventions

Catherine Patterson

Purpose: To explore child experiences and parental perceptions of physical activity (PA) in children post liver transplant, including participation facilitators and barriers.

Methods: A qualitative focused concurrent mixed-methods design included in-depth interviews and the PedsQL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale and Physical Activity Questionnaire.

Findings: 9 children (median age 10.8 years), and 9 parents participated. Most children reported being physically active and participating in PA for enjoyment, regardless of their motor proficiency level. Fatigue levels were higher than healthy norms and impacted PA participation in some children. Children and parents perceived PA as central to post-transplant recovery, particularly for cognitive, social and mental health benefits. Parents supported improved health through PA, yet struggled with ongoing uncertainty and fear of injury, influencing the type and context of their children’s PA.

Conclusion: Results indicate the need for family-centred and individualized PA support and education to develop relevant PA interventions for children post liver transplant.


Accepted for publication:

Patterson, C., So, S., DeAngelis, M., Ghent, E., Southmayd, D., & Carpenter, C. (2018). Physical activity experiences in children post-liver transplant: developing a foundation for rehabilitation interventions. Pediatric Transplantation,22:e13179.

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