A web-based intervention to promote physical activity in adolescents and young adults with cystic fibrosis: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Narelle S. Cox, Beverley Eldridge, Sarah Rawlings, Julianna Dreger, Jennifer Corda, Jennifer Hauser, Brenda M. Button, Jennifer Bishop, Amanda Nichols, Anna Middleton, Nathan Ward, Tiffany Dwyer, Owen W. Tomlinson, Sarah Denford, Alan R. Barker, Craig A. Williams, Michael Kingsley, Paul O'Halloran, Anne E. Holland, on behalf of Youth Activity Unlimited – A Strategic Research Centre of the UK Cystic Fibrosis Trust

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Regular participation in physical activity by people with cystic fibrosis (CF) promotes positive clinical and health outcomes including reduced rate of decline in lung function, fewer hospitalizations and greater wellbeing. However adherence to exercise and activity programs is low, in part due to the substantial daily therapy burden for young people with CF. Strict infection control requirements limit the role of group exercise programs that are commonly used in other clinical groups. Investigation of methods to promote physical activity in this group has been limited. The Active Online Physical Activity in Cystic fibrosis Trial (ActionPACT) is an assessor-blinded, multi-centre, randomized controlled trial designed to compare the efficacy of a novel web-based program (ActivOnline) compared to usual care in promoting physical activity participation in adolescents and young adults with CF. Methods: Adolescents and young adults with CF will be recruited on discharge from hospital for a respiratory exacerbation. Participants randomized to the intervention group will have access to a web-based physical activity platform for the 12-week intervention period. ActivOnline allows users to track their physical activity, set goals, and self-monitor progress. All participants in both groups will be provided with standardised information regarding general physical activity recommendations for adolescents and young adults. Outcomes will be assessed by a blinded assessor at baseline, after completion of the intervention, and at 3-months followup. Healthcare utilization will be assessed at 12 months from intervention completion. The primary outcome is change in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity participation measured objectively by accelerometry. Secondary outcomes include aerobic fitness, health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression and sleep quality. Discussion: This trial will establish whether a web-based application can improve physical activity participation more effectively than usual care in the period following hospitalization for a respiratory exacerbation. The web-based application under investigation can be made readily and widely available to all individuals with CF, to support physical activity and exercise participation at a time and location of the user's choosing, regardless of microbiological status. Trial registration: Clinical trial registered on July 13, 2017 with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register at (ACTRN12617001009303).

Original languageEnglish
Article number253
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2019


  • Application
  • Exercise
  • Goal setting
  • Online
  • Physical fitness
  • Telerehabilitation

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