Airway Clearance Techniques (ACTs), a.k.a. “physio”

Airway clearance is a cornerstone of self-management in CF, and many different techniques have been developed to accomplish this. At this time, there is no evidence that there is any one “best” technique, and different methods will suit different people depending on a variety of factors including lifestyle, stage of lung disease, personal preference, and comfort. These techniques are well-described elsewhere. For a good short overview, CF Canada has a list of commonly used techniques with brief descriptions at http://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/about-cf/living-with-cystic-fibrosis/introd.... Less commonly used techniques and devices are also included on that page, but are not officially endorsed as it is felt that further research is required.

To see some of these methods of airway clearance “in action” please have a look at this excellent video made by the adult CF Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

For a more detailed discussion of individual techniques with extensive references, please see the “Blue Book”, put together by the International Physiotherapy Group for CF.

Your clinic physiotherapist is happy to discuss airway clearance with you at any time, and can assist you in choosing a technique that works for you.