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Physiotherapy breathing retraining for asthma: a randomised controlled trial

Asthma is a common global health problem that affects at least 18% of the population worldwide. Some of real life surveys show that all outcomes remain suboptimal with persisting symptoms and quality of life impairment. Many of the patients however, taking regular medication particularly corticosteroids and some self-management strategies. But in recent development it used breathing techniques to help control the symptoms of asthma. There were evidences for the effectiveness of self-management education as well as self-guided programmes to be accessed. In order, to have it conveniently and inexpensively to people with asthma and deliver standardized interventions. In 2012 US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality concluded that non-pharmacological techniques can improve asthma symptoms and reduced medication.


Breathing retraining for Asthma patients

Breathing retraining exercise is recommended in evidence-based guidelines as possible adjuvant treatment for asthma patients. Based on pragmatic randomised trial the study reveals that three sessions of face-to-face physiotherapist improved the symptoms. Also the self-guided digital audiovisual program is considered as an acceptable intervention method. The current systematic and Cochrane review shows that breathing retraining therapy is an effective treatment with suitable trained physiotherapist.


Asthma is improved by the routine face-to-face method of breathing retraining exercise which eventually progress the quality of life impairment. In agreement with the previous research there were no significant changes in airway obstruction or inflammation observed. Therefore, breathing retraining provides a technique for coping better with asthma, but not disease modifying. That is why, with this intervention it will reduced the intake of anti-inflammatory medication and acts as an adjuvant.


The breathing retraining will allow patients how to adjust ones behavior and embed the techniques into daily lives.  Additionally, with the collaboration of Asthma UK a web-optimised version of the intervention for online used have been produced. In a way that such approaches indicates this evidence-based non-pharmacological intervention be offered to people with asthma despite current medication. There is a need to stress that this intervention is not a cure rather a means to improve quality of life.


Source: Prepared by Joan Tura from THE LANCET: Respiratory Medicine

Volume 6, Issue 1, January 2018, Pages 19-28

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