Physios help develop new NICE guideline on cystic fibrosis

Physiotherapists have contributed to the development of the latest guideline on the diagnosis and management of cystic fibrosis.


Members of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Cystic Fibrosis (ACPCF) worked with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on the content of the new guideline, which was published in October.

Nuala Harnett, a clinical specialist physiotherapist at Great North Children’s Hospital and ACPCF chair, told Frontline: ‘We were involved throughout the development of this guideline, having two representatives on the working party and also the opportunity to comment on the draft document during the consultation period.

‘In terms of physiotherapy, the guideline gives recommendations for airway clearance, mucolytic therapy and exercise.’

It also states that

  • multidisciplinary cystic fibrosis teams should include at least one specialist physiotherapist
  • specialist physiotherapists should assess and advise people with cystic fibrosis at clinics, inpatient admissions, during pulmonary exacerbations and as part of annual reviews

Standards of care

Ms Harnett added that the guideline’s advice complemented the association’s recently updated standards of care and good practice for the physiotherapy management of cystic fibrosis, which is available on the Cystic Fibrosis Trust website

‘The combination of both of these documents gives a comprehensive overview of the physiotherapy management of people with cystic fibrosis,’ she said.

Author: Robert Millett

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