Efficacy of Pursed Lip Breathing: A Breathing pattern retraining strategy for dyspnoea reduction

Nield M, Soo Hoo G, Roper J, Santiago S

The study objective was to compare two programmes of prolonging expiratory time (pursed lip breathing (PLB) and expiratory muscle training) on dyspnoea and functional performance in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Method: Subjects were randomised to 1: pursed lip breathing 2: expiratory muscle training or 3: control. Changes over time in dyspnoea (modified Borg after six minute walk distance (6MWD) and shortness of breath questionnaire) and functional performance (Human Activity Profile and physical function scale of SF 36 item Health Survey) were assessed.

Results: 40 subjects with COPD were enrolled. Significant reductions for the modified Borg scale after 6MWD and physical function from baseline to 12 weeks were only present for PLB.

Conclusion: PLB provides sustained improvement in exertional dyspnoea and physical function.

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention 2007, 27:4

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