Influence of spontaneous pursed lips breathing on walking endurance and oxygen saturation in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

The objective of this study was to evaluate how spontaneously used pursed lips breathing influences walking endurance, oxygen saturation and dyspnoea in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Thirty-two patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease performed two endurance shuttle walking tests in random order. During endurance shuttle walking test I a mouthpiece was used in order to prevent spontaneous pursed lips breathing. During endurance shuttle walking test II spontaneous pursed lips breathing was used freely. When spontaneous pursed lips breathing was used the patients walked on an average for 37 seconds longer than when pursed lips breathing was prevented. The patients desaturated considerably during both walking tests but the average drop in oxygen saturation was 1.2% less when spontaneous pursed lips breathing was employed.

Spontaneous pursed lips breathing can be a useful technique to increase walking endurance and reduce oxygen desaturation during walking in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Clinical Rehabilitation, 2008, 22(8), 675-683

Link to Abstract

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