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BREATHING EXERCISES FOR ASTHMA

Despite optimal management of asthma, many patients still remain symptomatic and there has been renewed interest in the benefit of breathing exercise techniques in asthma. In this month’s Thorax, Thomas and colleagues report a randomised controlled trial of physiotherapist-supervised breathing retraining compared with nurse-delivered asthma education. Breathing training had no effect on airway function, inflammation or hyper-responsiveness and there was no difference in outcomes 1 month after the intervention. However, at 6 months follow-up, the results showed improvement in the asthma quality of life score in the breathing training group and in psychological function scores. Thus this study shows that breathing exercises may play a role in asthma management, but they …

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