University of Stirling, Health Sciences

Home » Cystic Fibrosis » SCooP* – Supporting Children’s Physiotherapy for Cystic Fibrosis

SCooP* – Supporting Children’s Physiotherapy for Cystic Fibrosis

University of Stirling, School of Health Sciences research:

SCOOP logoCystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited, life-threatening disorder of the lungs and digestive system affecting approximately 1 in 2,500 children in the UK. Currently, there is no cure for CF so treatment focuses on easing the symptoms which include thick mucus made by the lungs which blocks airways and is associated with severe lung infections.

Chest physiotherapy (CPT) and airway clearance techniques, such as breathing exercises, are a major part of the daily treatment to clear the lungs and airways. The success of CPT is extremely dependent on adherence by the child and parent. Adherence in young children is important because damage occurs rapidly and can be irreversible. However, only 50% of parents and young children adhere to their recommended regimen. Parents and carers and their young children find it difficult to stick to their physiotherapy routine for a wide range of reasons, for example, children find it boring and sometimes painful and uncomfortable and when no mucus is produced by CPT it can be hard for parents to stay motivated.

Despite the importance of CPT and the current high non-adherence rates there is a lack of high-quality, theory-based intervention studies to improve physiotherapy adherence in young children with CF. In this study we are developing and testing an intervention for parents/carers of children with CF aged 0-8 years old likely to increase adherence to physiotherapy. The intervention will have two components:

  • An audio-visual support resource (short film) to enhance parental intentions to adhere to physiotherapy;
  • A family-specific adherence plan to facilitate the translation of intentions into behavioural change.

Parents and carers of young children with CF are currently taking part in an online ‘SCooP group’ to develop the short film for Stage 1 of the study. In stage 2 of the study 20 parents and carers will try out the intervention to see if it has an impact on their adherence to CPT. If the intervention shows promise, we will then look to conduct a full trial. The multi-disciplinary research team working on the SCooP project brings together academic researchers, clinicians, computer animators, a screen writer, film-makers, psychologists and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.


PI – Dr Emma France, NMAHP RU, University of Stirling; Dr Gaylor Hoskins, University of Stirling; Professor Brian Williams, University of Stirling; Dr John McGhee, University of New South Wales; Professor Shaun Treweek, University of Aberdeen; Professor Suzanne Hagen, Glasgow Caledonian University; Ms Elaine Dhouieb, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, NHS Lothian; Dr Steve Cunningham, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, NHS Lothian; Dr Claire Glasscoe, Self-employed; Dr Eleanor Main, University College London; Dr Janet Allen, Cystic Fibrosis Trust; Professor Chris Rowland, University of Dundee; Professor Pat Hoddinott, University of Stirling.

*Parents of children with CF voted for the project name ‘SCooP’ and chose the logo.
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