Introduction: Airway clearance techniques (ACTs) are a gold standard of cystic fibrosis management; however, the majority of research evidence for their efficacy is of low standard; often attributed to the lack of sensitivity from outcome measures (OMs) used historically. This randomised controlled trial (RCT) investigates these standard OMs (sputum weight, forced expiratory volume in 1 s) and new OMs (electrical impedance tomography (EIT), multiple breath washout (MBW) and impulse oscillometry (IOS)) to determine the most useful measures of ACT.
Methods and analysis: This is a single-centre RCT with crossover design. Participants perform MBW, IOS and spirometry, and then are randomised to either rest or supervised ACT lasting 30-60 min. MBW, IOS and spirometry are repeated immediately afterwards. EIT and sputum are collected during rest/ACT. On a separate day, the OMs are performed with the other intervention. Primary endpoint is difference in change in OMs before and after ACT/rest. Sample size was calculated with 80% power and significance of 5% for each OM (target n=64).
Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval was gained from the London-Chelsea Research Ethics Committee (reference 16/LO/0995, project ID 154635). Dissemination will involve scientific conference presentation and publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Trial registration numbers: ISRCTN11220163 and NCT02721498.
Keywords: cystic fibrosis; respiratory measurement.
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