SUSTAIND IMPROVMENT OF CYSTIC FIBROSIS PATIENTS
EXPOSED TO A DEAD SEA WINTER REHABILITATION CAMP


Goldbart A.1, Sabo E.2, Tal A.1.
¹ Pediatric Department, Soroka Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
² Rapaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel

Purpose

  • A previous report by Berkovits (Netherlands J. Med. 1999; 54(suppl) s65, a129), showed significant improvement of %SaO2 as well as %FVC and %FEV1, in CF patients attending a health camp
    lasting 3 weeks, at the Dead Sea.
  • This work extended the study, and evaluated lung function and body weight changes for longer follow up.


Methods

  • We evaluated 94 CF patients from Europe who spent 3 weeks at the Dead Sea from 1997 to 2000.
  • Participants were given daily chest physiotherapy, and participated in a variety of outdoor activities and enjoyed a high caloric diet.
  • Patients lung functions were evaluated a week prior to arrival (Pre), before departure (Dep), and 2 months after the 3 weeks of rehabilitation (Post).
  • Evaluation of body weight changes were measured a week prior to camp and at 1, 2 and 3 months after the camp.
  • Data was available only for 35 Patients who underwent pre-and post camp (2 months) lung function tests as well, and they were included in the final data analysis.
  • All data were analysed by ANOVA test for repetitive measurements, p-value was considered significant when less then 0.05.

Results
Spirometry values were analysed for 35 patients:

Fig. 1- Comparison of FVC (% predicted) detected an improvement of 3.9% between values obtained pre and post camp, which was however not significant (p=0.19).


Fig. 2- FEV1 values improved significantly (Pre, Dep, Post). The improvement was detected between Pre versus Post (8.2%), and Dep Versus Post (7.5%) measures.


Fig. 3- %SaO2 values comparison (Pre, Dep, Post) also improved significantly. The significant differences were detected between: Pre versus Dep (1.8%), and Dep versus Post (1.3%).


Fig. 4- Body weight increased significantly in 24 patients, pre and up to 3 months after the camp. The mean weight gain was 5%.



Fig. 5- Weight measured upon arrival and departure, for 89 patients showed an average improvement of 1.9% (p<0.05, by t-test).

Conclusion:

  • We demonstrated a significant improvement in FEV1 as well as SaO2, lasting at least two months after patients returned to their countries of origin, after a 3 weeks stay at a rehabilitation camp at
    the Dead Sea area.
  • While at camp the patients significantly gained weight, and continued this trend for at least 3 months.


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