Purpose: Children and adolescents undergoing treatment for cancer are exposed to a wide variety of stressors both physical and mental. Not only adults but also children and adolescents increasingly practice yoga in a health-promoting manner and to cope with stressful situations.
Methods: A review of literature was conducted to present the current outcomes on yoga, meditation and mindfulness for children and adolescents who are affected by an oncological disease.
Results: Eight studies were identified that examined yoga treatment for children and adolescents with oncological diseases. Three studies were found on mindfulness in pediatric oncology. The studies summarized here suggest that yoga and mindfulness could help to improve quality of life, reduce fatigue, improve activity and fitness levels, improve sleep quality, increase appetite and decrease anxiety in various stages of the disease and its treatment. The reviewed studies showed that yoga and mindfulness-based interventions for children and adolescents with oncological illnesses are feasible in different settings and are well received.
Conclusions: The results of the studies suggest that yoga and mindfulness may help to support children and adolescents during and after oncological treatment. Based on the current body of evidence it is not possible to draw conclusions about the efficacy of yoga and mindfulness-based interventions in pediatric oncology patients. Research must meet this challenge to develop suitable designs to further and better investigate the effects of yoga and mindfulness in children and adolescents with oncological diseases.