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J Cyst Fibros. 2003 Jun;2(2):61-8.

The psychosocial and psychiatric side of cystic fibrosis in adolescents and adults.

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Department of Cystic Fibrosis, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, Sydney Street, London SW3 6NP, UK.


Increasing numbers of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients are surviving into adulthood. An understanding of the psychiatric and psychosocial aspects of CF in adults and adolescents is therefore more important than ever. There is a large body of evidence indicating that the psychological and psychosocial functioning of people with CF is similar to that of well people, until the disease becomes severe. However, there is also evidence that patients do suffer an increased likelihood of psychiatric problems, such as depression, and of scoring poorly on physical functioning measures of quality of life. Studies have found conflicting evidence as to any association between degree of respiratory impairment and psychological functioning. Coping styles seem to have a large effect upon the quality of life of CF patients. People with cystic fibrosis can have problems with sexuality, platonic relationships and independence. Families of patients also suffer problems, which can affect the patients themselves. Non-compliance is a complicated problem with many patients. New treatments for people with CF are emerging, such as lobe transplants from live donors and gene therapy, with possible new psychosocial problems resulting. Furthermore, older studies are becoming increasingly inapplicable as treatment and prognosis changes. Therefore, more research is needed in this field.

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