THE EFFECTS OF PHYSICAL EXERCISE TRAINING ON EXERCISE TOLERANCE AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN CYSTIC FIBROSIS PATIENTS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
1.1 Objectives The objective of this systematic review is to establish the effect of physical exercise interventions on exercise tolerance and quality of life (QoL) in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). 1.2 Search Strategy To identify studies the electronic databases CINAHL, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS, PEDro, PubMed and Open Grey were searched using defined keywords, published between January 1998 and February 2018. Reference lists of all included studies and relevant systematic reviews were searched by hand. 1.3 Selection Criteria Inclusion criterion included patient between the ages of 6-19 years of age with confirmed diagnoses of cystic fibrosis, male and female. Randomised controlled studies (RCT’s), controlled clinical trials(CCT’s), cohort studies published in English with full text available were included. The primary outcome included was exercise tolerance and secondary outcome included was QoL. 1.4 Results Seven studies met the inclusion criterion set to be included in this systematic review. Seven of the included studies reported that physical activity does improve exercise tolerance and five out of the six studies that assessed QoL noted improvement following physical activity interventions. The included studies were far from homogenous in nature and were very heterogeneity. Methodological quality of included studies ranged from weak to strong. Five out of the seven studies reported statistically significant improvements in exercise tolerance and five reported statistically significant improvements in aspects of QoL. 1.5 Conclusion From the results gathered it would appear that physical activity may improve exercise tolerance and QoL in cystic fibrosis patients. However, further high-quality homogenous research with larger sample sizes and study duration is required to be able to validate and substantiate these findings. No clear finding with regards to the best method of physical activity, duration or intensity could be drawn from these finding and further clinical research is required to achieve this.