Self-management intervention to reduce pulmonary exacerbations by supporting treatment adherence in adults with cystic fibrosis: a randomised controlled trial

CFHealthHub Study Team

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Recurrent pulmonary exacerbations lead to progressive lung damage in cystic fibrosis (CF). Inhaled medications (mucoactive agents and antibiotics) help prevent exacerbations, but objectively measured adherence is low. We investigated whether a multi-component (complex) self-management intervention to support adherence would reduce exacerbation rates over 12 months.

METHODS: Between October 2017 and May 2018, adults with CF (aged ≥16 years; 19 UK centres) were randomised to the intervention (data-logging nebulisers, a digital platform and behavioural change sessions with trained clinical interventionists) or usual care (data-logging nebulisers). Outcomes included pulmonary exacerbations (primary outcome), objectively measured adherence, body mass index (BMI), lung function (FEV1) and Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised (CFQ-R). Analyses were by intent to treat over 12 months.

RESULTS: Among intervention (n=304) and usual care (n=303) participants (51% female, median age 31 years), 88% completed 12-month follow-up. Mean exacerbation rate was 1.63/year with intervention and 1.77/year with usual care (adjusted ratio 0.96; 95% CI 0.83 to 1.12; p=0.64). Adjusted mean differences (95% CI) were in favour of the intervention versus usual care for objectively measured adherence (9.5% (8.6% to 10.4%)) and BMI (0.3 (0.1 to 0.6) kg/m2), with no difference for %FEV1 (1.4 (-0.2 to 3.0)). Seven CFQ-R subscales showed no between-group difference, but treatment burden reduced for the intervention (3.9 (1.2 to 6.7) points). No intervention-related serious adverse events occurred.

CONCLUSIONS: While pulmonary exacerbations and FEV1 did not show statistically significant differences, the intervention achieved higher objectively measured adherence versus usual care. The adherence difference might be inadequate to influence exacerbations, though higher BMI and lower perceived CF treatment burden were observed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThorax
Early online date23 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2021

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