Background: Pediatric, adolescent and young adult (PAYA) patients are less active than their healthy counterparts, particularly during inpatient stays. Methods: We conducted a quality improvement initiative to increase activity levels in patients admitted to our pediatric oncology and cellular therapy unit using a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model. An interdisciplinary team was assembled to develop an incentive-based inpatient exercise and activity program titled Totally Excited About Moving Mobility and Exercise (TEAM Me ). As part of the program, patients were encouraged by their care team to remain active during their inpatient stay. As an additional incentive, patients earned stickers to display on TEAM Me door boards along with tickets that could be exchanged for prizes. Activity was assessed by documentation of physical therapy participation, tests of physical function, and surveys of staff perceptions of patient activity levels, motivations, and barriers. Results: Compared to baseline, patient refusals to participate in physical therapy decreased significantly (24% vs. 2%) (p < 0.02), and staff perceptions of patient motivation to stay active increased from 40% to 70% in the post implementation period. There were no changes in physical function tests. Conclusions: An incentive-based exercise program for young oncology inpatients greatly improved patient activity levels, participation in physical therapy and influenced professional caregivers’ beliefs.
- Inpatient program
- Pediatric cancer