COVID-19 pandemic restrictions continuously impact on physical activity in adults with cystic fibrosis

PLoS One. 2021 Sep 23;16(9):e0257852. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257852. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND: We have recently reported reduced physical activity (PA) in people with cystic fibrosis (pwCF) with and without lung transplantation (LTX) during a 6-week stringent lockdown in Switzerland. This follow-up study explores the impact of coronavirus-2019 disease (COVID-19) related pandemic restrictions on individuals’ therapy regimens and health-related aspects in pwCF.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional web-based national survey in Spring 2021. The survey included questions on daily PA, airway clearance and inhalation therapy, questions on COVID-19-compatible symptoms, diagnostic tests and vaccination status, and enquired health-related aspects covering the pandemic period between March 2020 to April 2021.

RESULTS: 193 individuals with CF (53% female; 25% LTX recipients) participated. Among pwCF, 10 reported COVID-19 (n = 2 LTX recipients), two subjects were hospitalized, no invasive ventilation required, no deaths. The clinical course was generally mild. Overall, 46% reported less PA during the pandemic, mostly due to closed fitness facilities (85%), lack of motivation (34%), and changes in daily structures (21%). In contrast, 32/193 (17%) pwCF were able to increase their PA levels: 12 (38%) and 11 (34%) reported undertaking home-based training and outdoor activities more frequently; 6 (19%) reported an increase in routine PA, and another 3 (9%) started new activities. Among pwCF without LTX, 5% and 4% reported to undertake less airway clearance and inhalation therapy, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study reveals unfavorable consequences of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on PA of pwCF with unknown long-term consequences for their overall physical fitness and lung health. Strategies to overcome this undesirable situation are needed; increased uptake of telehealth PA programs and virtual exercise classes to promote PA participation might be one promising approach along with vaccination of pwCF and their close contacts.

PMID:34555108 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0257852

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