- Breathing exercises improve ventilation (including respiratory rate and tidal volume) and QoL, but fail to improve dyspnoea in COPD, according to a small meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
Why this matters
- Clinicians should consider recommending breathing exercises more aggressively to patients with COPD, bearing in mind the low to moderate evidence quality.
- Meta-analysis of 19 trials (n=745) identified from a search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane, Scopus, and ScienceDirect.
- Evidence quality and risk for bias were assessed by 2 methods, including Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE).
- Funding: Thailand Research Fund; others.
- Respiratory rate was improved by:
- Pursed-lip breathing vs control (P<.00001>
- Ventilatory feedback plus exercise vs control (P=.0002).
- Diaphragmatic breathing exercise vs control (P=.05).
- Combined breathing exercises vs control (P<.00001>
- Tidal volume (P=.0004).
- Inspiratory time (P=.007).
- Total respiratory time (P=.0004).
- Quality of evidence by 2 methods was low to moderate.
- Small number of studies, participants.