Exercise testing and training in German CF centers

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2004 Apr;37(4):351-5. doi: 10.1002/ppul.10430.


Physical exercise is increasingly recognized as a valuable diagnostic and therapeutic modality for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). We sought to characterize the use of exercise testing and training as well as the attitude toward both issues through a national survey. A questionnaire was sent to 107 specialized CF centers (caring for a total of 5,231 patients) and 7 inpatient rehabilitation institutions. Answers were available from 62 specialized centers caring for 3,580 patients and from 4 rehabilitation centers with 520 treatment episodes per year. Sixty percent of specialized centers performed some sort of exercise testing at an average frequency of 1 in 2.3 years for patients aged 8 and above. However, protocols and indication criteria were often unstandardized or not specified at all. Equipment availability was no major problem, and the majority of tests were conducted by a physician alone. Nineteen centers had adopted exercise testing as part of their diagnostic routine. Two thirds of caregivers advised their patients to engage in physical activity, but failed to discuss specific modalities and potential hazards. Nevertheless, physical exercise was viewed as "extremely important" or "very important" by 87%. In a rehabilitation setting, an exercise test was conducted 1.1 times per patient stay, and a training program offered in 100% of cases. In conclusion, standardized exercise testing and training programs appear to be underused in German CF centers, despite a high degree of interest in the topic. Supplementary material for this article can be found on the Pediatric Pulmonology website (http//www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/8755-6863/suppmat).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Test / methods
  • Exercise Test / statistics & numerical data*
  • Germany
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Physical Education and Training / methods
  • Physical Education and Training / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires