Integrated breathing and relaxation training (the Papworth Method) for adults with asthma in primary care: a randomised controlled trial

Holloway E, West R

The Papworth Method (PM) is a breathing and relaxation technique used by physiotherapists for patients with asthma or dysfunctional breathing. This study evaluated the effectiveness by means of a randomised controlled trial.

Eighty-five patients were randomised to the control group (n=46) or to the intervention group receiving five PM sessions (n=46). Assessments were undertaken at baseline and at 6 and 12 months post baseline. The primary outcome measure was the St. George’s Respiratory Symptoms Questionnaire (SGRQ). Secondary outcome measures included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression score (HADS), the Nijmegen dysfunctional breathing questionnaire and objective measures of respiratory function.

At the 12 month follow-up assessment the mean score on the SGRQ symptom subscale was 21.8 in the intervention group, compared with 32.8 in the control group. HADS and Nijmegen scores were similarly significantly lower in the intervention group.

The Papworth Method appears to ameliorate respiratory symptoms, dysfunctional breathing and adverse mood compared with usual care.

Thorax, June 2007, online article

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