Sixteen trials (n=2,411) were included. These investigated the efficacy of antibiotics (4 studies, n=805), home versus hospital administration of antibiotics (1 study, n=17), steroids (1 study, n=22), mucolytic therapies (6 studies, n=1,406), exercise (3 studies, n=148) and pancreatic enzymes (1 study, n=13).
All findings reported below are from secondary analyses unless otherwise stated.
Three placebo-controlled trials reported an improvement in QoL associated with the use of tobramycin (1 trial) and azithromycin (2 trials). One study found no difference in QoL with azithromycin.
Home and hospital administration of antibiotics.
One trial that used the CRQ as the primary outcome measure found intravenous antibiotics taken at home caused more problems with mastery and fatigue. However, factors associated with personal, family, sleeping, eating and total disruption were more positive.
No changes in well-being were associated with the use of corticosteroids, compared with placebo, in one trial.
Two placebo-controlled trials of DNase found no improvements in well-being, whereas a further two studies did find an improvement in well-being that was associated with treatment. One trial found no effects associated with DNase or saline. One trial found no statistically significant improvement in well-being with normal or hypertonic saline.
Two trials found an improvement in QoL with exercise training programmes, whereas a third study found no difference in well-being among those participants that exercised and those that did not.
There were no differences in well-being associated with the intake of pancreatic enzymes in one trial.