Increased physical activity is protective against worsening of postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) in adults. We assessed patient eligibility, consent, adherence, and retention rates in a pilot trial of prescribed physical activity following venous thromboembolism (VTE) in children. Secondary objectives were to describe the within-subject changes in PTS, quality of life, and coagulation biomarkers before and after the intervention in each group. We enrolled and randomized patients between 7 and 21 years of age to the physical activity group or the standard care (education-only) group in a 1:1 allocation ratio. The physical activity group wore a Fitbit for 4 weeks to determine habitual activity and then increased activity over an 8-week "active"period, followed by a 4-week "do-as-you-wish"period. Two hundred thirtyfive children were diagnosed with VTE; 111 patients were screened, of whom 40 (36%) met study eligibility criteria. Of these, 23 (57%) consented to participate and were randomized (Fitbit,11; standard group, 12). The trial was of greater interest to overweight and obese children, as they comprised 83% of consented patients. Only 33% adhered to the activity prescription, and 65% (15/23) completed the trial. The PTS scores (P = .001) improved in the physical activity group compared with the education-only group. It is feasible to enroll and randomize pediatric VTE patients to a prescribed physical activity regimen 3 months following VTE. Metrics for adherence to enhanced physical activity and retention were not met. These results provide the rationale to explore low adherence and retention rates before moving forward with a larger trial of exercise training following VTE.
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