CFDB - Cystic Fibrosis DataBase

primary studies published RCT

Web-based physical activity promotion in young people with CF: a randomised controlled trial.

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

Multicentre randomised controlled trial


People with CF (12-35 years) admitted to hospital for a respiratory cause. 107 participants were randomised to AO (n=52) or UC (n=55).


A web-based application (ActivOnline) in promoting physical activity in young pwCF. Patients were randomised to the 12-week ActivOnline intervention (AO) or usual care (UC).

Outcome measures

The primary outcome was change in device-based time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) from baseline to post-intervention. Follow-up was at 6 months from hospital discharge when qualitative evaluation was undertaken.

Main results

107 participants were randomised to AO (n=52) or UC (n=55). Sixty-three participants (59%) contributed to the intention-to-treat analysis. Mean (SD) age was 21 (6) years (n=46, <18 years). At baseline, physical activity levels were high in both groups (AO 102 (52) vs UC 127 (73) min/day). There was no statistically significant difference in MVPA between groups at either timepoint (post-intervention mean difference (95% CI) -14 mins (-45 to 16)). Uptake of the intervention was low with only 40% (n=21) of participants accessing the web application.

Authors' conclusions

A web-based application, including individualised goal setting, real-time feedback and motivation for behavioural change, was no better than usual care at promoting physical activity in young pwCF following hospital discharge. High levels of baseline physical activity levels in both groups, and limited engagement with the intervention, suggest alternative strategies may be necessary to identify and support young pwCF who would benefit from enhanced physical activity.

Keywords: Exercise; non pharmacological intervention - devices OR physiotherapy; Counseling; Psychoeducation; non pharmacological intervention - psyco-soc-edu-org; telemedicine;