Conventional chest physiotherapy compared to other airway clearance techniques for cystic fibrosis (A review)

Main E, Prasad A, van der Schans C

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited, life limiting disorder, characterised by pulmonary infections and thick airway secretions. Conventional chest physiotherapy techniques (CCPT) have depended upon assistance, while more contemporary clearance techniques are self administered, facilitating independence.

Objective: To compare CCPT with other airway clearance techniques in terms of their effects on respiratory function, individual preference, adherence and quality of life.

Two reviewers allocated quality scores to relevant studies and independently extracted data.

29 studies were included in the review. There was no difference between CCPT and other clearance techniques in terms of respiratory function measured by lung function tests. Studies undertaken during acute exacerbations demonstrated relatively large gains, irrespective of airway clearance technique.

This review demonstrated no advantage of CCPT over other techniques in terms of respiratory function.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2007, Issue 3

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Rachael Lowe is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Physiopedia. A physiotherapist and technology specialist Rachael has been working with Physiopedia since 2008 to create a resource that provides universal access to physiotherapy knowledge as well as a platform for connecting and educating the global physiotherapy profession.

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