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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Submitted, not yet approved
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Date data sharing statement initially provided
Type of registration
Prospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Virtual models for delivery of exercise training in Cystic Fibrosis (CF): an evaluation of patient engagement and feasibility.
Scientific title
Virtual models for delivery of exercise training in CF: an evaluation of patient engagement and feasibility.
Secondary ID [1] 302007 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Cystic Fibrosis 318567 0
Condition category
Condition code
Human Genetics and Inherited Disorders 316583 316583 0 0
Cystic fibrosis
Physical Medicine / Rehabilitation 317041 317041 0 0
Respiratory 317378 317378 0 0
Other respiratory disorders / diseases

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Pulmonary rehab is already a well-established treatment modality for patients with chronic respiratory disease. Traditionally, it has been offered in a face-to-face class environment however due to the risk of cross infection, this cannot occur in a CF population. While there is research supporting the benefits of a pulmonary rehabilitation program virtually, this has not been explored with this demographic of patients.

Subsequently, the aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibly and patient engagement with two models of interactive online exercise classes to deliver and promote exercise in adults with Cystic Fibrosis, and patient perceptions of this intervention.

Setup required for the program will require a computer, tablet or mobile device with internet connection. A pilates mat or weights may be required however it will be ensured all participants have access to these prior to commencing the study. The exercise classes in both models will be conducted by the CF physiotherapist. The level of intensity will be monitored by modifed BORG however all patients will be encouraged to self pace during the session based on their own exercise tolerance. The sessions will be 40minutes in length including the warm up and cool down for both exercise models. The duration of the intervention will be 8 weeks with sessions occurring 2x/wkly with a 3rd independent exercise session encouraged. The exercises prescribed to all participants will be standardised however they progressions will be provided for patients for them to choose based on their exercise capacity (eg. sit to stand OR squats OR jump squats). Adherence of the exercise session will be marked on attendance via role call for the traditional model of pulmonary rehab and questionaire for the independent exercise package.

The models of interactive exercise that will be used are a virtual exercise class that occurs in real time with 6 patients and 1 physiotherapist via telehealth. The second model of online exercise class will be an independent package where the patients recruited to this model will be provided with videos for exercise sessions that they will complete independently, un-supervised, in their own time
Intervention code [1] 318292 0
Intervention code [2] 318293 0
Treatment: Other
Comparator / control treatment
The control group will complete gold standard pulmonary rehab using a virtual model. This will involve telehealth via the Cisco Jabber platform which will allow patients to interact with the physiotherapist conducting the exercise class. As already outlined, the program will occur 2x/weekly with a 3rd independent exercise session encouraged. Progressions, modifications and feedback on technique will be provided to all participants.
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 324712 0
- Number of exercise sessions completed
Measured by role call of attendance or questionnaire completed by the patient regarding number of sessions they participated in.

The questionnaire has been developed specifically for this study using an online platform from the Metro North Consumer Engagement Platform.
Timepoint [1] 324712 0
Immediately post completion of 8 week program
Primary outcome [2] 325138 0
- Patient satisfaction

Patient satisfaction will be assessed using a Liekert scale on a questionnaire specifically designed for the study, as outlined above. Answers will be de-identfied (they are submitted anonymously) and analysed.
Timepoint [2] 325138 0
Completion of the 8 week program
Primary outcome [3] 325139 0
• Survey developed with local research and Metro North Engage Team.
Focus of feedback will be to assess demand, implementation (study and session completion), practicality (technical issues) and acceptability of training modes and the virtual platform (participant feedback).
• Combination of Likert scales and open-ended questions. Example questions may include: What was your most/least favourite part of the program and why? Would you participate in a similar program again? What type of changes have you seen because of the program, if any? How has the program helped you?
Timepoint [3] 325139 0
Completion of the 8wk program
Secondary outcome [1] 385497 0
1. The health outcomes assessed are patient feedback and preference
2. The survey has been designed specifically for use in this study
Timepoint [1] 385497 0
Immediately post 8wk completion of the pulmonary rehab program

Key inclusion criteria
- Patients >18 years of age serviced by the ACFC at The Prince Charles Hospital with a diagnosis of gene confirmed cystic fibrosis.
- RFT’s 30-70% predicted FEV1
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
No limit
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
- Severe pulmonary disease (RFT’s <30% FEV1)
- Mild pulmonary disease (RFT’s >70% predicted FEV1 )
- Use of domiciliary oxygen therapy
- Unable to perform exercise as determined by the medical and/or physiotherapy team
- Death is deemed imminent or the patient is actively being palliated
- Patients/NOK on patients behalf do not consent to participate

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Masking / blinding
Open (masking not used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

Intervention assignment
Other design features
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis
The key statistics are differences in patient engagement correlated with the model of virtual pulmonary rehab in which they are allocated. Data will undergo analysis and interpretation by the principal investigators and statistician using parametric/non-parametric statistics as appropriate. Between-group comparison of categorical data will be performed using Chi square or logistical regression and comparisons of the data will be made. Descriptive statistics will quantify all outcomes pre and post the exercise intervention. Pairwise comparisons will be made for all measures pre and post the exercise intervention. Results will be accepted as statistically significant at p< 0.05.

Descriptive analysis of the post quantitative questions will be performed. Responses to open ended questions will be coded and organised, and a thematic analysis will be conducted to identify themes about the feasibility and acceptability of the programs to the participants.

As this is a pilot, feasibility study, it is difficult to calculate an appropriate sample side required to effectively power it. Therefore, this proposal is using a convenience sample of 12 patients assigned to each virtual mode that are likely to be recruited during the study period.

Recruitment status
Not yet recruiting
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)
Recruitment hospital [1] 17242 0
The Prince Charles Hospital - Chermside
Recruitment postcode(s) [1] 30951 0
4032 - Chermside

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 306428 0
Name [1] 306428 0
The Physiotherapy Department The Prince Charles Hospital
Address [1] 306428 0
The Prince Charles Hospital
627 Rode Road
Chermside, 4032
Country [1] 306428 0
Primary sponsor type
The Prince Charles Hospital
The Prince Charles Hospital
627 Rode Road
Chermside, 4032
Secondary sponsor category [1] 306943 0
Name [1] 306943 0
Address [1] 306943 0
Country [1] 306943 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Submitted, not yet approved
Ethics committee name [1] 306637 0
The Prince Charles Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [1] 306637 0
The Prince Charles Hospital
627 Rode Road
Chermside, 4032 QLD
Ethics committee country [1] 306637 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 306637 0
Approval date [1] 306637 0
Ethics approval number [1] 306637 0

Brief summary
Physical activity is recognised as an essential component of maintenance of respiratory health in cystic fibrosis (CF), and delivery of exercise education is a critical component of physiotherapy care. Reduced exercise capacity is associated with a decline in respiratory function and survival in people with CF. In both short and long-term studies, regular exercise has been demonstrated to decrease the annual decline in lung function in people with CF. Continued innovative approaches to prompt both exercise and activity participation and adherence at home for adults with cystic fibrosis is required. Group based exercise training is established as the gold standard in people with COPD resulting in reduced symptoms, improved quality of life outcomes, increased exercise capacity, reduced exacerbations and the prevention of hospital exacerbations. The current COVID-19 pandemic has already prompted a shift to ‘virtual’ models of care delivery within CF centres. People with CF are currently, and for the foreseeable future, receiving decreased routine face to face outpatient appointments at hospitals. This current change to care delivery minimises opportunities to offer exercise training for this cohort of patients.

Home based tele-rehabilitation group exercise programs have been shown to improve exercise capacity in patients with COPD and other chronic diseases. A systematic review of telehealth in cystic fibrosis highlighted the potential to provide both physical activity and exercise programmes. Exercise sessions of 30 minutes, three times a week over six weeks offered via a virtual platform to children with CF demonstrated participation rates of 85%. The program was found to be a convenient and accessible method of encouraging physical activity and participants reported positive feedback regarding joining a group supervised class. Tomlenson et al ( 2019) examined the feasibility and acceptability of online exercise sessions using telehealth in nine adults with CF to engage patients in individualised exercise programs 2 -3 times a week 20. The participants successfully participated in the classes, rating satisfaction with the virtual training at 9/10, while compliance with sessions was 68%. Whilst these studies suggest that online training is feasible, questions remain regarding the applicability of the outcomes to the cohort of patients provided with care by TPCH Adult Cystic Fibrosis centre (ACFC). The large number of patients receiving care by this centre (over 300) is prohibitive to offering all patients individualised exercise classes.

Delivery of 1-on-1 exercise training is labour intensive and expensive. Rapid improvements in survival of people with CF is expected to result in increased demand on physiotherapy services, which will outstrip service capacity. Consequently, alternate, scalable models of delivering exercise training are required.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 104510 0
Miss Kelly Burgess
Address 104510 0
The Prince Charles Hospital
627 Rode Road
Chermside, QLD 4032
Country 104510 0
Phone 104510 0
+61 7 3139 6272
Fax 104510 0
Email 104510 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 104511 0
Miss Kelly Burgess
Address 104511 0
The Prince Charles Hospital
627 Rode Road
Chermside, QLD 4032
Country 104511 0
Phone 104511 0
+61 7 3139 6272
Fax 104511 0
Email 104511 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 104512 0
Miss Kelly Burgess
Address 104512 0
The Prince Charles Hospital
627 Rode Road
Chermside, QLD 4032
Country 104512 0
Phone 104512 0
+61 7 31396272
Fax 104512 0
Email 104512 0

Data sharing statement
Will individual participant data (IPD) for this trial be available (including data dictionaries)?
No/undecided IPD sharing reason/comment
What supporting documents are/will be available?
Study protocol
Informed consent form
How or where can supporting documents be obtained?
Type [1] 8760 0
Study protocol
Citation [1] 8760 0
Link [1] 8760 0
Email [1] 8760 0
Other [1] 8760 0
Type [2] 8762 0
Informed consent form
Citation [2] 8762 0
Link [2] 8762 0
Email [2] 8762 0
Other [2] 8762 0
Summary results
No Results