Home physiotherapists assisting follow-up treatment in cystic fibrosis: a multicenter observational study
Inhaled therapies are relatively simple and easy to be managed however ineffective use of aerosols when self-administered may occur. We described variation of the number of clinic visits, lung function and number of antibiotic courses performed over 12 months in participants with cystic fibrosis (CF), when supervised or not by physiotherapists (PTs) at home. Participants in 8 Italian CF centers with a prescription of dry-powder antibiotic choose whether to be supervised at home (PT-FU) or not (non-PT-FU), in adjunct to routine clinic visits. PTs assisted participants with their inhaled therapies regimen and reviewed the airway clearance program in use. Mixed-effect regression models were fitted to evaluate the variation of selected endpoints over time. A total of 163 participants were included. Lung function declined over time in both groups, at higher extent in the non-PT-FU group at 6 months (-1.8, 95%CI: -4.4 to 0.7 % predicted), without reaching statistical significance, whereas in the PT-FU group only, nearly one visit less was recorded (p=0.027). Regardless the type of supervision adopted, the number of antibiotic courses did not change compared to the previous year. We counted 19/90 (21.1%) drop-out in the PT-FU, double compared to the group followed up at the clinics (p=0.065). Participants under a course of an inhaled antibiotic therapy showed a 1-year decline in lung function, whereas only the group receiving home supervision counted nearly one visit less at the CF center, whose clinical relevance should be further discussed.
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