A recent review published in the British Medical Journal Open looked at what helps or stops young people with cystic fibrosis from being active.
Cystic fibrosis is a disease that causes sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system. This can cause infections and breathing problems, and over time, the lungs may stop working properly. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis but keeping active can help reduce the effects of the disease and improve wellbeing.
This review looked at seven studies that interviewed young people with the condition. The researchers found that many factors impacted activity, and these were often specific to people with cystic fibrosis.
For example, many people said they didn’t have enough time to be active. This was made worse because of time spent on treatment and wanting to spend time with friends. The symptoms of cystic fibrosis, such as feeling out of breath or tired, could also make physical activity more unpleasant.
However, some young people with cystic fibrosis were active because they enjoyed it, it helped them feel more ‘normal’, or because it helped them manage their condition. Young people were also more likely to want to be active if their parents supported it.
This research is important in helping healthcare professionals understand how to better encourage young people with cystic fibrosis to keep active. This might include focusing on activities the young person enjoys, involving family to support them, and promoting activity as a way of spending time with friends.
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