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Abstract

Purpose: Physical activity is well known to improve or maintain exercise capacity and overall health in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). However, many patients do not meet recommended guidelines for physical activity. The purpose of this study was to determine if individualized, targeted coaching could improve the levels of physical activity and quality of life in children and adolescents with CF. Subjects: Twelve children with CF, ages 7 to 17, participated in this study.Method: Each participant completed a physical activity questionnaire (PAQ) and a disease-specific quality of life questionnaire (CFQ) at baseline and three months later. The participants were given pedometers and a 10,000 step per day target. Participants also participated in discussions regarding ways to increase physical activity appropriate for their interest, abilities and age. Weekly follow-up phone calls were made to obtain pedometer counts and discuss physical activities performed. Results: Physical activity scores (PAQ) improved in 6 of 12 participants. Quality of life improved in many dimensions of the CFQ, particularly in vitality (3 of 5 improved); emotional (8 of 12 improved) and respiratory (7 of 12 improved). Conclusions: The results of this small pilot study suggest that an individualized coaching approach to physical activity in children and adolescents with CF may improve physical activity levels and improve important aspects of quality of life in some children with CF.

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