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International transformation of mental health support in cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic, life-limiting condition with an immense treatment burden. Although medical advancement has dramatically increased life expectancy to 37 years in the UK, negative psychological impacts of living with CF still exist.

Research by Professor Janice Abbott has helped to change the culture of mental health care and the way care is delivered, to the extent that mental health screening has now become a vital, integrated aspect of CF care. Impacts of the research have influenced changes nationally and internationally. These include: the development and publishing of CF Mental Health Guidelines for health professionals, the allocation of approximately $20,000,000 by the US CF Foundation to create 138 Mental Health Coordinator jobs and the creation of US and European Mental Health Working Groups.

The work has stimulated debate and challenged conventional wisdom, culminating in improved mental wellbeing through the implementation of mental health screening in people with cystic fibrosis and their caregivers around the world. Significantly, following mental health screening and appropriate care, an improvement in mental wellbeing has been reported globally by people with CF and their caregivers.

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