A systematic review to explore how exercise-based physiotherapy via telemedicine can promote health related benefits for people with cystic fibrosis

Author: Ben Bowhay1, Jos M Latour2, Owen W Tomlinson3
1 Wye Valley NHS Trust, The County Hospital, Hereford, United Kingdom.
2 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
3 University of Exeter Medical School, St Luke's Campus, Exeter, United Kingdom.
Conference/Journal: PLOS Digit Health
Date published: 2023 Feb 27
Other: Volume ID: 2 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: e0000201 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1371/journal.pdig.0000201. , Word Count: 265

To conduct a systematic review to evaluate the effects of physiotherapy exercises delivered via telemedicine on lung function and quality-of-life in people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). The databases AMED, CINAHL and MEDLINE were searched from December 2001 until December 2021. Reference lists of included studies were hand-searched. The PRISMA 2020 statement was used to report the review. Studies of any design reported in the English language, included participants with CF, and within outpatient settings were included. Meta-analysis was not deemed appropriate due to the diversity of interventions and heterogeneity of the included studies. Following screening, eight studies with 180 total participants met the inclusion criteria. Sample sizes ranged from 9 to 41 participants. Research designs included five single cohort intervention studies, two randomised control trials and one feasibility study. Telemedicine-based interventions included Tai-Chi, aerobic, and resistance exercise delivered over a study period of six to twelve weeks. All included studies which measured percentage predicted forced expiratory volume in one second found no significant difference. Five studies measuring the Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised (CFQ-R) respiratory domain found improvements, however, did not meet statistical significance. For the CFQ-R physical domain, measured by five studies, two studies found an improvement, although not statistically significant. No adverse events were reported across all studies. The included studies indicate that telemedicine-based exercise over 6-12 weeks does not significantly change lung function or quality-of-life in people with CF. Whilst the role of telemedicine in the care of pwCF is acceptable and promising; further research with standardised outcome measures, larger sample sizes and longer follow-up are required before clinical practice recommendations can be developed.

PMID: 36848358 PMCID: PMC9970050 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pdig.0000201