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Nurs Times. 2009 Mar 17-23;105(10):22-7.

Are breathing exercises an effective strategy for people with asthma?

Author information

1
Department of General Practice and Primary Care, University of Aberdeen.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The effect of breathing techniques on asthma symptoms and disease control is uncertain.

AIM:

To investigate whether physiotherapist-taught breathing exercises can improve asthma control and reduce the condition's impact on patients' quality of life.

METHOD:

A randomised controlled trial comparing breathing training with asthma education (control for non-specific effects of healthcare professionals' attention) was carried out.

RESULTS:

One month after the intervention, both groups showed similar improvements in asthma quality-of-life questionnaire scores but, at six months, there was a significant difference between groups in favour of breathing training. There was also a significant difference in anxiety and depression scores in favour of breathing training at six months.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

This study found that adult patients with asthma who were taught breathing exercises showed improvements in quality of life, symptoms and psychological well-being after six months. Breathing exercises may have a role in helping the many people treated for asthma in general practice who have symptoms despite inhaled treatment.

PMID:
19400340
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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