To evaluate the level of self-reported adherence to physical therapy recommendations in pediatric patients (6-17 years) with cystic fibrosis (CF) and to ascertain whether the different levels of adherence correlate with pulmonary function, clinical aspects, and quality of life.
This was a cross-sectional study. The patients and their legal guardians completed a questionnaire regarding adherence to physical therapy recommendations and a CF quality of life questionnaire. We collected demographic, spirometric, and bacteriological data, as well as recording the frequency of hospitalizations and Shwachman-Kulczycki (S-K) clinical scores.
We included 66 patients in the study. Mean age, FEV1 (% of predicted), and BMI were 12.2 ± 3.2 years, 90 ± 24%, and 18.3 ± 2.5 kg/m2, respectively. The patients were divided into two groups: high-adherence (n = 39) and moderate/poor-adherence (n = 27). No statistically significant differences were found between the groups regarding age, gender, family income, and total S-K clinical scores. There were statistically significant differences between the high-adherence group and the moderate/poor-adherence group, the latter showing lower scores for the "radiological findings" domain of the S-K clinical score (p = 0.030), a greater number of hospitalizations (p = 0.004), and more days of hospitalization in the last year (p = 0.012), as well as lower scores for the quality of life questionnaire domains emotion (p = 0.002), physical (p = 0.019), treatment burden (p < 0.001), health perceptions (p = 0.036), social (p = 0.039), and respiratory (p = 0.048).
Low self-reported adherence to physical therapy recommendations was associated with worse radiological findings, a greater number of hospitalizations, and decreased quality of life in pediatric CF patients.