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What defines a pulmonary exacerbation?: the perceptions of adults with cystic fibrosis

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Janice Abbott
  • A Holt
  • Anna Hart
  • A Morton
  • L MacDougall
  • M Pogson
  • G Milne
  • H Rodgers
  • S Conway
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number5
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)356-359
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


There is no standardised definition of a pulmonary exacerbation in cystic fibrosis (CF). In attempting to achieve standardised criteria it is important to identify patient-reported indicators.

Interviews were undertaken with 47 adults with CF. Participants were asked to report symptoms experienced during a pulmonary exacerbation in two ways: the first symptoms they become aware of, and how they subsequently recognised when they were improving.

A range of systemic and respiratory symptoms were reported. Their relative importance varied by severity of disease. The severity and subsequent improvement of an exacerbation was often described as limitations on their activities.

These preliminary data suggest that patient-reported indicators of a pulmonary exacerbation may not be the same for all adults with CF. Whether different indicators are associated with specific demographic or clinical variables remains to be evaluated.