Effects of exercise training on physical and psychosocial health in children with chronic respiratory disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Barbara Joschtel, Sjaan R. Gomersall, Sean Tweedy, Helen Petsky, Anne B. Chang, Stewart G. Trost

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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    Abstract

    Introduction: Chronic disease in children is increasing, including the prevalence of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF), bronchiectasis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of exercise training on health outcomes in children with chronic respiratory disease.

    Method: Five databases were searched for randomised controlled trials investigating the effects of exercise training on children with chronic respiratory disease. Following the PRISMA guidelines, eligible studies were identified and data were extracted. A meta-analysis was conducted for the outcomes cardiovascular fitness, lung function and quality of life (QoL).

    Results: The initial search returned 3688 papers. Twenty-seven (17 in children with asthma, 10 in children with CF) were included in the systematic review and 24 of these were included in the meta-analysis. No studies were identified in children with bronchiectasis or BPD. Included papers had a total of 1009 participants aged 8–20 years. In addition to cardiovascular fitness, lung function and QoL, studies also assessed pulmonary function, respiratory muscle strength, muscular strength and inflammation. Meta-analysis showed a large significant effect size in favour of exercise for cardiovascular fitness (peak VO2) (standard mean difference (SMD)=1.16, 95%  CI 0.61 to 1.70) and QoL (SMD=1.27, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.82) as well as a small, non-significant effect size for lung function (FEV1) (SMD=0.02, 95% CI -0.38 to 0.42).

    Conclusion:
    Exercise training significantly improves cardiovascular fitness and QoL in children with asthma and CF. Further research is needed, particularly in children with bronchiectasis and BPD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere000409
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalBMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
    Volume4
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

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