Physiotherapy for cystic fibrosis in Australia: Knowledge and acceptance of the Consensus Statement recommendations Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

publication date

  • May 2013