CFDB - Cystic Fibrosis DataBase

primary studies published RCT

Interval versus constant-load exercise training in adults with Cystic Fibrosis.

Study design (if review, criteria of inclusion for studies)

Randomised controlled trial


24r adults with CF


Interval exercise (IE) compared to constant-load exercise (CLE) training. Patients were randomised to 30-min IE (100 % peak work capacity (WRpeak) for 30-s alternated with 40 % WRpeak for 30-s; n = 12) or 30-min CLE (70 % WRpeak; n = 12) training, 3 times weekly, for 12 weeks.

Outcome measures

Isometric quadriceps muscle strength was assessed using a strain gauge Myometer.

Main results

The magnitude of improvement in quadriceps muscle strength was greater (p = 0.037) in the IE (by 32 ± 13 Nm) compared to the CLE (by 23 ± 12 Nm) groups. Maximum inspiratory and expiratory mouth pressures were significantly improved only in the IE group (by 30 ± 10 cmH(2)O; p = 0.009 and 13 ± 4 cmH(2)O; p = 0.007, respectively). Arterial oxygen saturation during training was higher (p = 0.002) for IE (94 ± 1%) compared to CLE (91 ± 1%), whereas dyspnoea scores were lower (p = 0.001) for IE (3.8 ± 0.7) compared to CLE (5.9 ± 0.8)

Authors' conclusions

IE is superior to CLE in improving peripheral and respiratory muscle strength and preferable to CLE because it is associated with lower exercise-induced arterial oxygen desaturation and breathlessness.

Keywords: Adolescent; Adult; Inhalation OR nebulised; non pharmacological intervention - psyco-soc-edu-org; non pharmacological intervention - devices OR physiotherapy; pharmacological_intervention; training; inspiratory muscle training; exercise; Chest physiotherapy;