CF study #2: Children's researchers evaluate core strengthening and respiratory exercise program's effect on cystic fibrosis
This study examined the feasibility of the Core Strengthening and Respiratory Exercise Program, a customized outpatient physical therapy intervention including both a clinical component and an at-home component, in five children with CF.
Skeletal and neuromuscular system impairments, which are common in children with CF, are interrelated and often result in loss of muscle mass, poor posture, pain and overuse of respiratory muscles.
When people with CF have poor posture and weakened core muscles, they inevitably lack the structural support necessary for optimal functioning of the lungs and other organs. This lack of structural support may lead to difficulties with daily activities, recreational activities and sports.
In this study, which included five participants between the ages of 11 and 17, Children's researchers monitored participants' exercise regimens three times per week for six months. The five main categories of outcome measures included:
• Pulmonary function
• Aerobic capacity
• Rib cage mobility
• Core strength
All five participants demonstrated a clinical improvement in one or more measurements within at least three of the main categories when comparing baseline to follow-up measurements. In short, researchers ultimately concluded that children with CF live with impairments that ultimately may be improved with physical therapy. The participants completed satisfaction surveys in which they described being extremely satisfied with the program. Four of five participants planned to continue the program on their own.
Team of investigators
Julie Christiansen, PT
Lorre Thompson, PT
John McNamara, MD
Katie Fenlon, PT
Cystic Fibrosis Core Strengthening and Respiratory Exercise Program; Pediatric Pulmonology; supplement 33, 2010: 465.