Physiotherapy for cystic fibrosis in Australia: knowledge and acceptance of the Consensus Statement recommendations

Anne E. Holland, Brenda M. Button, on behalf of the International Physiotherapy Group for Cystic Fibrosis, Australian Chapter

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objective In 2008, a Consensus Statement was published with the aim of optimizing physiotherapy management for people with cystic fibrosis (CF) in Australia. The aim of this study was to measure knowledge and acceptance of the Consensus Statement recommendations. Methods All physiotherapists providing treatment to people with CF in Australia were invited to complete a purpose-designed online survey to assess knowledge and uptake of key treatment recommendations. Results Sixty-eight physiotherapists took part (response rate 49 ). Knowledge of treatment recommendations was high for airway clearance (94 ) and exercise assessment (76 ). Most respondents agreed with these recommendations (airway clearance 97 agreement, exercise 68 agreement). A small number of respondents (18 ) correctly identified the current recommendation to segregate patients with different organisms during airway clearance, with most respondents (73 ) implementing stricter infection control policies. Low levels of knowledge and agreement were evident for recommendations regarding measurement of blood sugar levels during exercise (36 knowledge and 28 agreement) and delivery of dornase alfa (53 and 65 ). Physiotherapists from specialist CF centres were more likely to know the recommendations for blood sugar level measurement during exercise (P = 0.014), dornase alfa (P = 0.001) and non-invasive ventilation (P = 0.07) compared with physiotherapists in other settings. Conclusions Physiotherapists are aware of treatment recommendations for CF in common areas of practice such as airway clearance and exercise. However, knowledge of recommendations is lower for specialized areas of practice and outside of CF centres. Strategies to improve awareness and uptake of the Consensus Statement among physiotherapists outside of CF centres are required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-656
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • cystic fibrosis
  • exercise
  • infection control
  • physical therapy modality
  • practice guideline

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