Background: The effect of SPARK physical education program on lung function in cystic fibrosis patients is not yet determined. SPARK (Sports, play and active recreation for kids) includes moving skills, aerobic games, jogging or walking, aerobic dance and jump rope. Regarding the high prevalence of cystic fibrosis and its destructive effects on the lungs, the aim of this study was to evaluate the lung function and quality of life before and after undergoing the SPARK physical education program, in children with cystic fibrosis.
Method: In this quasi-experimental study, all patients with cystic fibrosis aged 6-18 years referred to the cystic fibrosis clinic of Dr. Sheikh Hospital in Mashhad, Iran, were enrolled. The patients attended the 12-week SPARK training program (3 sessions per week, each session 45 minutes). The quality of life questionnaire for patients with cystic fibrosis, including self-examination and parental tests, along with spirometry indices (FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, FEF25-75) were filled out before and after intervention for all patients.
Results: The mean and standard deviation of patients' age were 9.85±2.67 years, and 65% of patients were female. The FEV1 was significantly different before and after the SPARK physical education program (P=0.03), and the respiratory component of quality of life significantly increased after intervention (P=0.002). The overall score of quality of life from parents’ point of view was 2.87 ± 0.38 which increased to 2.99 ± 0.38 after the intervention.
Conclusion: SPARK training program may improve the spirometric parameters in children with cystic fibrosis. It also had a significant effect on improving the patients’ quality of life, especially in the respiratory component.