Prevalence of unmet pain and symptom management needs in adults with cystic fibrosis

Published:August 14, 2022DOI:



      Although people living with CF (PLwCF) commonly report pain and other symptoms, little is known regarding their experiences of living with and accessing treatment for burdensome symptoms.


      PLwCF completed online questionnaires assessing symptom prevalence and distress and were also asked about experiences accessing pain and symptom treatment, using both closed-ended and free-text entries.


      Pain was the most prevalent symptom experienced among the 55 participants (76%) and the symptom that most commonly caused distress (64%). PLwCF not on CFTR modulator therapy were likelier to endorse pain as distressing (p = 0.007). Respondents expressed that their pain was commonly underrecognized and undermanaged, they desired a multi-modal approach to treatment, and noted concerns about disease progression affecting their symptom management options.


      Our study suggests that PLwCF often have unmet symptom management needs that may impair quality of life.


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