"The growth of the CF research program has led to increased participation in nationally supported research and the development of local investigator-initiated studies," said John McNamara, MD, Medical Director of Children's Cystic Fibrosis (CF)program. "After learning from our initial survey study that children with CF are struggling with anxiety, musculoskeletal pain and sleep problems, we implemented targeted physical therapy and yoga protocols to help reduce these symptoms. The results of these studies and other research projects in the pipeline will increase our national presence and lead to the ability to initiate multi-centered trials."
Children's CF Program received the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutic Development Network (TDN) grant for the past two years, leading to the development and implementation of new research concepts, networking tools, and studies. Children's ranks among the top programs nationally for CF research implementation and clinical outcome measures according to the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Through strengthening the research infrastructure, patients with CF benefit from the newest therapies.
In an effort to better understand the full range of symptoms and needs of adolescents with CF, researchers at Children's developed and implemented the symptom assessment study, "The incidence of pain, other physical symptoms, and depression/anxiety in pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis: Impact on overall quality of life as well as eating disorders and body image."The results of the study showed that children and adolescents with CF often have a negative perception of their bodies, have significant sleep problems, have limb and joint pain, and experience depression/anxiety.
Based on results of this survey study as well as family interest in complementary therapies, a yoga study was conducted. Led by John McNamara, MD, and his research team, the study, "Evaluating the effects of yoga on children with cystic fibrosis: pain, sleep, anxiety, and depression," explored the potential benefits of yoga for children with CF. After participating in a six-week series of one-on-one yoga classes, 20 children ages 7 to 21 reported that they felt more relaxed, could breathe easier, and felt calmer after yoga class. Results of this study will be submitted for presentation at the 2011 North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference.
Children's Research Report has more about Cystic Fibrosis studies and other research underway at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.