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Ongoing projects

Teens on Beam

Research team

Dr Sam Van Beurden
Dr Sarah Denford
Professor Craig Williams


Vertex Circle of Care Award

Project summary

Physical activity can benefit both physical and mental health in people with cystic fibrosis (CF). It is therefore recommended as part of treatment and management of the condition. However, many young people with CF are not as active as advised. This can have long term impacts including missing out on social activities, reduced physical fitness, and reduced life expectancy. Working with patients, we have developed an interactive website to help young people with CF to increase physical activity.

In this project we aimed to:

1). Identify things that help young people with CF to be more active, what might get in the way, and how this might be overcome.
2). Use the learnings from point 1 to develop resources for an interactive website to help young people with CF to be more physically active from day to day.
3). To involve young people with CF and their parents to make sure the support is appropriate for and acceptable to them.


(1). This development project involved gathering research literature about interviews with young people with CF and parents of, about what they think about physical activity, what they do, and they think influences their physical activity behaviour. With the learnings from all these existing interview studies we were able to identify some core needs that should be addressed to be able to support engagement in physical activity. This helped to put initial ideas and early materials together that could be used on an interactive website.

(2&3). Using think aloud interviews, the early versions of materials are then further developed to make sure that they communicate the core messages in a way that is attention capturing, understandable, and persuasive to the intended end users. This think aloud interviews are a series of brief interviews with young people with CF of parents of young people with CF. Each individual is asked to say out loud exactly what they are thinking while they are working through different versions of ideas and website materials. These thoughts are then used by the research team to make changes to the ideas and materials. The updated materials are then tested again in the same way, with some of the same people but also with new people who have not seen anything yet. By doing this, we make sure that the final resources have been developed in close collaboration with the end users of the materials. That collaboration is very important as it helps in making sure that the messages, tasks and the resources make sense, address the right needs, and are hopefully appealing enough to engage others in this population so that more young people with CF can be supported in finding ways of moving more.

The developed materials will be available in a separate section for youth on the This website is currently an interactive platform for adults only with CF and hosts exercise videos and live classes. Once the youth section in combination with the rest of the Beam platform have been tested fully on their ability to change physical activity in young people with CF (in a future study) this section will be made available for use.