Effects of chest physiotherapy and aerobic exercise training on physical fitness in young children with cystic fibrosis

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ELBASAN B., Tunali N., Duzgun I., ÖZÇELİK H. U.

Italian Journal of Pediatrics, vol.38, no.1, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/1824-7288-38-2
  • Journal Name: Italian Journal of Pediatrics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Cystic fibrosis, physical fitness, aerobic exercise, training
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Cystic fibrosis is a multisystem disease where the main problems are existing in the respiratory system. Aerobic exercise programs are effective in increasing physical fitness and muscle endurance in addition to chest physiotherapy. Objective. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of chest physiotherapy and aerobic exercise training on physical fitness in young children with cystic fibrosis. Methods. Sixteen patients with cystic fibrosis, between the ages 5-13 years, were included in this study. All children were assessed at the beginning and at the end of 6 week of the training. Modified Bruce protocol was used for assessing the cardiovascular endurance. The sit-up test was used to evaluate the dynamic endurance of abdominal muscles, standing long jump was used to test power, sit and reach, trunk lateral flexion, trunk hyperextension, trunk rotation and forward bending tests were used to assess flexibility, 20 m shuttle run test and 10-step stair climbing tests were used to assess power and agility. All patients received chest physiotherapy and aerobic training, three days a week for six weeks. Active cycle of breathing technique and aerobic exercise training program on a treadmill were applied. Results: By evaluating the results of the training, positive progressions in all parameters except 20 m shuttle run and 10 stairs climbing tests were observed (p < 0.05). Active cycle of breathing techniques were used together with exercise training in clinically stable cystic fibrosis patients increases thoracic mobility (p < 0.05) and the physical fitness parameters such as muscle endurance, strength and speed (p < 0.05). Comparison of the results in sit and reach and forward bending tests were not significant (p > 0.05). Conclusion: It is thought that in addition to medical approaches to the systems affected, the active cycle of breathing techniques along with aerobic training helps to enhance the aerobic performance, thoracic mobility and improves physical fitness in children with cystic fibrosis. © 2012 Elbasan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.